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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Directed by David Mallet, Stephen Pimlott
Universal 03/00 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Not Rated

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote this musical for a small London junior high school's end-of-term ceremony. It began its theatrical run on March 1, 1968, reaching Broadway in 1982. The production has toured over 80 cities. In addition, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has been performed in 15,000 schools with an audience in excess of 8 million people.

The musical variety will be familiar to fans of Webber and Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats. This light-hearted adaptation of the biblical account in Genesis, chapters 37 to 46, begins in Canaan where Jacob (Richard Attenborough) lives with his 12 sons. Joseph (Danny Osmond) is his favorite; he is given a coat of many colors by his father. The boy flaunts his specialness with interpretations of dreams as well. His jealous brothers sell Joseph into slavery to some Ishmaelites. Then he becomes the property of Potiphar (Ian McNeice) who has him thrown into prison after suspecting his wife (Joan Collins) of seducing him. When the Pharaoh (Robert Torti) hears of Joseph's fortune-telling abilities, he calls upon him for help. The foreigner becomes the Egyptian leader's right- hand man. When famine reigns in Canaan, Joseph's brothers come to Egypt in search of food. A surprising test and eventual reunion bring them together again.

David Mallet and Steven Pimlott direct this flamboyant production of the Webber-Rice classic. Maria Friedman plays the narrator who ties all the threads of the story together for an audience of children gathered in a school auditorium. This is fitting since kids have provided Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with the audiences that have made it an international success.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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