Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Amazing Joseph

So our production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ended up exceeding everyone's expectations. We knew we had a great cast, and great directors, but how much can you really pull off in just six 4-hour rehearsals?  That's all we had before production week!  But somehow, with God's help, it came together in an amazing way, and our audiences were wowed every time!

There is so much I could say about the talent of our leads and the strength of the whole ensemble, but for the sake of my relatives and friends, and my own time, I better focus on my own experience and Chicklet8's and Bantam6's.

Chicklet was in her element.  She loves the stage.  People stopped her after every show to say, "I couldn't stop watching you!  You were always smiling, always so expressive!"

Chicklet and B6 played school children that the Narrator tells the story of Joseph to.  They helped sing some of the songs, and they sat on the sides during the numbers they weren't in, and joined in with hand motions and general enthusiasm for the story.

When Chicklet was complimented by one of the directors for her consistent smile during the dress rehearsal, I told her later on that I was proud of her.  Her secret? "At first my cheeks were bored," she confided.  "But then they got excited!"

B6, on the other hand, was clueless in the cutest sort of way.  This shot is jumping ahead to the final number, but it captures how he rolled.  (He was the youngest in the cast--but he didn't act like the youngest, Chicklet told me proudly!)

So here was my entrance, during the number "Jacob & Sons."  Joseph's brothers are all facing the back wall, and as they are introduced, they go greet Jacob, then meet up with their wife, then get out of the way.  Just as "Reuben was the eldest of the children of Israel," as the lyrics go, so was the actor playing Reuben the oldest of the actors playing brothers, and I was the oldest woman playing the Wife of a brother.  (As in, we were well over 20 years older than any of the other couples!)

At the end of the number, we posed for a "family picture." That's Jacob in the center, with his arm around Joseph.  You can just see the Narrator's head, as she takes a picture with a Polaroid camera.

In the next number, Jacob gives Joseph the coat of many colors.  Here he is showing off.  And yes, that's me up on top.  When we blocked this dance, I was happy to be in back.  At the first dress rehearsal, when I found out how high and how conspicuous and how limited on space I was (I'm on a box that's less than 4X4 feet), I was not one bit comfortable up there.  But God used it.  (Will save for another post!)

At least my husband joined me up there toward the end!

My next scene was his big solo, when the brothers push him forward to break the news to Jacob that "There's one more angel in heaven, one more star in the sky...Joseph, we'll never forget you...."

After much melodramatic weeping and mourning, we all breathe a huge sigh of relief after Jacob leaves the stage...then break out into a hoedown to the same tune, sped up.

"It's tough, but we're gonna get by!"

The first act ends with Joseph in prison, and the cast dressed in 70's/80's costumes singing the encouraging "Go, Go, Go Joseph...you know what they say; Come on now, Joseph, you'll make it someday; Sha la la Joseph, you're doin' fine--you and your dreamcoat, ahead of your time."  Profound, I know.

Check out my hot pink skinny pants.  You'll see them again.

The second act begins in Egypt, in Pharaoh's court--complete with mummies and dancing golden statues.

Pharaoh sure looked and sounded an awful lot like Elvis, "This dream has got me all shook up; Hey Joseph, what does it mean?"  Our dance was an eclectic combination of 50's "bop bop shoo wada wah" moves, and poses imported from Michael Jackson's Thriller dance.

Oh, and I need a shot to show you my sparkly golden pumps!  I'm over on the right...

When I was a college student in the 80's, my fiance's landlord bought me a gown and those shoes to wear to a formal event.  They are beautiful shoes, and I hung onto them.  Blondechick wore them when she was the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, and it was fun to have an excuse to wear them in this show!

Jumping on ahead, here we are during the Benjamin Calypso, as Judah assures Joseph, "I hear de steel drums sing their song, they're singing mon you know you got it wrong..."

"Oh no.  Not he!  How you can accuse him is a mystery.  Save him.  Take me.  Benjamin is straighter than de tall palm tree."

"Joseph, Joseph, is it really true?  Joseph, Joseph, is it really you?"

I'm leaving out the slower numbers and their reprises, but the show ends with everybody's favorite--the Megamix!  It's a recap of all the big group numbers, set to a heavy dance beat that gets the whole audience clapping as various people and groups take their bows.  Here I am--in Blondechick's hot pink skinny pants and Chicklet's one-size-fits-all "popcorn" top!--with the other wives after we've taken our bows.

And Chicklet had a big moment during the Megamix.  When we're singing, "Could be famous, could be a big success...could become a star," she got to become a star!

Did we have fun, or what??

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