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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Forum

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How can Joseph be given a trim and concise rendition without 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:35 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Singapore
Post How can Joseph be given a trim and concise rendition without
One thing that has bothered me a bit about stage versions of Joseph is that the encores, reprises and prolongings in many performances have made it less concise. I know from Tim Rice's "Circus" autobiography that the authors wanted these prolongings to stretch the evening, and audiences have loved these encores since. However I don't really think it's necessary. I noted this problem on the recordings and I recollect some encores in the stage production I watched many years back.

I don't think it's necessary for Joseph to ask Pharaoh to repeat his dream to him, occasioning an encore or two of the Song of the King. I know that that rock'n'roll song needs to provide a dance break for the performers on stage. However the narrative would be better served if Pharaoh sang it once and Joseph went on to Pharaoh's Dreams Explained.

I am doubtful about why the Narrator sings the "Strange as it seems" chorus three times when twice is enough. It only prolongs the point about Joseph becoming a star because he can (and will) interpret Pharaoh's dreams Similarly there's no need to repeat the "Each of the brothers" chorus after the Benjamin calypso. The brothers have already used the calypso to plead for mercy.

I'm wondering if the audience may be allowed to leave during the Megamix, after the closing reprise of Any dream will do. I love the way that that song bookends the entire score and brings the story full circle. However, why not give the audience the prerogative to leave during the Megamix if they don't want to stay for it? The cast has finished their show and just want to party, hoping that some audience members will do so. In any case, I don't think anyone will notice if anyone leaves quietly.

I know that the various point prolongings and paddings might need to give the audience their money's worth when they spend a full evening at a Joseph performance. However it makes the score and the story lose concision. Will these trimmings work in practice, I wonder?

Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:29 am
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:06 pm
Posts: 855
Post Re: How can Joseph be given a trim and concise rendition wit
The trimmings could obviously work in practice, since all those repeats weren't originally part of the show. As far as I know, the original West End and Broadway productions did perfectly fine without them.

Honestly, if they wanted to flesh out the evening, why didn't they add some substantial material – e.g. giving Benjamin a more pronounced role, a la the original Bible story, so it's clearer why Joseph uses him to test the other brothers – instead of just padding the piece with pointless reprises?

Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:34 pm
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