Tag Archives: joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat

I’m Giving Cheese a Break and Talking About Theater Today


My friend, Kelley, called me this morning. I had just shared a link on Facebook that grabbed her and she wanted to chat about it immediately. For those who don’t already know, I’m a theater freak. To me, there’s no better day than one spent in a theater seeing a great show. While eating high-end cheese. But also being skinny. And having my feet rubbed. Sitting next to Johnny Depp. Or maybe Ellen Degeneres. It would depend on the show. But I digress.

My shared link was all about Broadway Across America, the touring company that consistently brings exceptional (some shows more than others) musical theater to my part of the world. They just announced their 2014-2015 season. And what a season it is.

As I said on my personal Facebook page, it’s the “strongest season we’ve had in a while. Almost every one is a home run. And that’s as sportsy as this theater geek is gonna get.” (So far I’ve called myself a freak and a geek in this post. Very self-deprecating but at least it’s poetic.) Let’s take a look at the season and I’ll offer you my two cents. (Because I have no friggin’ idea what’s going to happen at the Super Bowl. Seriously, who’s even playing?)

Chicago

I’ve seen this show twice on Broadway. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The first time I was lucky enough to see Bebe Neuwirth in the role of Velma and even meet her afterwards. (We took a picture but I’m going to blatantly lie and tell you I can’t find it. Because my eyes were closed. And it’s from, like, 15 years ago so it’s stored way out of reach. Plus I looked fat. Because I was standing next to freaking Bebe Neuwirth!) Each song is better than the last and the show actually made me laugh. So many shows have tired jokes in them. Oh, and I have never seen the movie so I can’t offer any comparisons.

Phantom of the Opera

I’ve seen this show a few times. This music is very pretty and sophisticated. It’s an Andrew Lloyd Webber production for Pete’s sake. But, personally, I like a little spoken dialogue in my show. Mr. Webber and I disagree on this point. Every one should see the show at least once, on Broadway if possible in a stationary production so that the iconic chandelier is at its most grand. Beyond that, I find my soundtrack to be satisfactory. Many will disagree with me here. I welcome other opinions in the comments.

Dirty Dancing

I haven’t seen this show and would normally be a little wary. I am not typically a fan of clumsy adaptations that gets their roots in mainstream cinema. Flashdance, Ghost, Legally Blonde … these don’t usually resonate with me. However, I will somewhat (bashfully admit) that this show intrigues me. Maybe it’s because it’s already filled with music and, obviously, dancing. Or maybe it’s because I was a kid when I actually saw it the first time so it holds major nostalgic moments for me. (Dear Broadway Producers, I would also like to see theatrical mountings of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, ooh, and maybe Better Off Dead. Thanks, Michele)

Annie

I’ve seen this show countless times. Heck, I think my daughter’s seen it countless times, too. And, yes, we’ll be going again. Confession. I’m pretty sure I can sing every word to every song in the score. Go ahead, judge. One day I’m going to put on a red wig and that old costume my grandmother made for me decades ago and sing my heart out on YouTube for all of you. I expect that my kids will probably be removed from my custody that same day. But I’ll just stick out my chin … and grin … and saaaaaaay …

Once

I have not seen this show. Nor have I seen the 2006 movie of the same name upon which it was based. What I know is that it received eleven Tony nominations in 2012. And then went on to win eight of them including Best Musical and Best Book. It’s a different kind of show, one in which the cast also serves as the orchestra. And a very minimalist set with a bar in the middle of the stage is used.  A bar that, for the Broadway production, actually operated as a real one serving drinks to theater patrons before the show and during intermission. I have no idea if the traveling show will be able to reproduce that charming offering but it’s pretty cool. I’m very much looking forward to this one.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I’ve seen this show a few times. It’s my exception to the Andrew-Lloyd-Webber-I-wish-there-were-dialogue rule. Joseph is a fantastic show. And I’m not just saying that because Vivien and I were lucky enough to perform in it with a great cast last summer. The show is a clever take on the ancient biblical story of Jacob and his many sons. The lyrics are smart and every song draws its roots from a different musical genre including classic county & western, calypso, jitterbug,  disco, French ballads, etc. We even caught Dave and Dean humming the music under their breaths a few times last summer. And that’s saying something.

Mamma Mia

I’ve seen this show several times, both on and off Broadway. It’s a fun show but, in my opinion, you have to like ABBA. Fortunately for me, ABBA was in frequent rotation on my Dad’s turntable back in the day. Thus, I was pretty familiar with most of the music. Of course, there is an actual storyline, too, so you could go for just that. But some of the songs are pretty shoe-horned into the plot. Which is hilarious if you actually know (and don’t hate) the music. (Confession. One day, I hope to see this show with a bunch of women and gay guy friends. That sounds like a blast!)

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So, I’ll be plunking down some big dollars soon to renew my season subscription. Fortunately, I’m raising a junior theater freak so maybe I can just blame it on her. “But Dave, Vivien would LOVE to see Annie” …. “Well, yes. I KNOW she’s already seen it, but THIS time I hear the dog’s actually going to go out into the audience and do tricks!”

That sounds believable, right?


This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt: Who was the last person to call you? What did they want?

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elleroy was here
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Goodbye to Joseph as well as to His Dreamcoat


The stage is down, the costumes are boxed and the cast party is over. The whole experience was, as promised, both “amazing” and “technicolor.” It was also profoundly memorable for my girl and me. We’re both pretty bummed to see it end. We so appreciate all of the people who made it happen this summer. And thanks to my brother-in-law for coming to the show on the last night and taking some pretty great pictures.

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Seriously, next time I do this show, I’m demanding a RED robe.

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Israelite jazz hands … that’s me!

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My adorable Viv in the orange skirt doing the 50s number with her best pal. (Did the girls Kool-Aid dip their hair back then? ‘Cause she clearly did.)

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Yeah, that’s me. Apparently, green was my signature color for the show. And I am pretty “amazing” that I included a picture of myself DANCING for you guys!

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Confused? The audience probably was, too. This shot was taken at curtain call. I played the baker (who was EXECUTED, BTW) in the first act. So, I throw the hat on with my Israeli garb at the end.

As one of Jacob’s many wives, a pampered Potiphar bootlicker, the doomed baker, a go-go dancer, a 50s teenager (seriously, stop laughing!) and an Egyptian underling to Joseph, I had a lot of fun. Thanks to my local friends who were able to come. And, to all who weren’t, please consider stopping in next year … ’cause I’m quite sure Viv and I will be doing it again.

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Want to read more about our fun with Joseph?

Ten Tips on Doing a Live Show With Your Daughter

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That Suburban Momma

Ten Tips on Doing a Live Play With Your Daughter


1. There’s no amount of perfume, powder and deodorant that is too much. Buy extra and give it as gifts on opening night to the whole cast.

2. Don’t drink before the show. And no, I’m not talking about alcohol. I mean anything. Because after you’ve put on a leotard, dance tights, biker shorts, a dress and a long velour robe, it’s kind of a pain in the butt to pee. Which I did on average four times per show. Even with my rule.

3. It’s good to eat a little something before the show each night to give you the energy you’ll need to push through to the curtain call. It is not, however, good for that “little something” to be sushi. That stuff will repeat on you all night. And raw fish in your stomach? Not so good after four hours.

4. When trying to decide between being comfortable and being MODEST, choose modesty. Every time. Never mind the fact that adding a layer of Spanxy scuba suit underneath everything made me even hotter. I was so covered and sucked in that I could’ve streaked through the place in my nude unitard and not (completely) died of embarrassment.

5. Pay close attention when they’re teaching the choreography … and don’t miss ANY practices. Otherwise, after you’ve performed the dance move that is done three times a night in seven of the eight performances (that’s 21 times for anyone not gifted mathematically), your darling daughter will inform you that you have been doing it wrong. Every time. On video. For a live audience.

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Here’s what I was wearing for my TWENTY-ONE mistakes.

6. And while I’m on the subject … if you forget a lyric, a dance move, a stage direction, make up for it with unbridled enthusiasm. If you don’t look nervous, you’ll look less like you’re making a mistake. Or so my brain has protected me into believing.

7. When asked if you want to share a dressing room with all the other adult women in the cast OR switch teams to share a room with your daughter and all the other children, sweetly kiss your girl on the cheek and tell her you’ll see her after the show. (I need to remember this advice for next year.)

8. Unless …. you want to overhear things like the girl who talked about her mom who (supposedly) says, “Fix your OWN dinner! I’m playing Words With Friends!” (If that poor woman knew I’d heard that … and was now writing about it!) The parent gossip is juicy. Because the kids forget I’m in there. And they’re all trying to outdo each other. Oh, have I got dirt.

9. When all of the little people in the cast see you in your stage make-up and costume (aided by the aforementioned scuba suit) and they ask how old you are … but then, before you can answer, one little angel guesses “Twenty?” … act amazed that she guessed correctly on the first try. And then when one particularly smart one says, “But wait, aren’t you Vivien’s mom?” look her dead in the face and say “Who’s Vivien?”

10. Remember that everything you’re doing is creating lasting memories with your girl. So be sure to make them good ones.

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I’ve had an absolute blast doing the show with you, Viv. I can’t believe the last show is tonight.

I’m already looking forward to next year!

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Linked to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking us to write a blog post inspired by the word modest. (awkward pause) Fine. I cheated. But only the teeniest, tiniest bit. Which is practically like not cheating at all.

I think I’ll go teach that to my children.

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So You Think *I* Can Dance???


Okay, let’s get right down to it. I’m in a play. With my daughter. She LOVES live theater (thanks to me) and has learned to appreciate viewing it from the audience as well as from a position on the stage. She’s actually done quite a few shows compared to me at her age. Most of my experience came during my teens and twenties, but I’ve been in a show here and there since becoming a mom. The last thing I did was Tony & Tina’s Wedding. No singing, no dancing and a very loosely structured “plot” that encouraged comedic improvisation. Great for someone without a lot of time to prepare.

But that’s SO not the case now.

Vivien and I are currently in rehearsals for a huge musical production entitled Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by a little-known composer named Andrew Lloyd Webber. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? (Wink) This show doesn’t know the meaning of improvisation. And the singing? It’s a continuous, multi-layered chorus of harmonies, varying genres and changeable tempos and rhythms enough to test any performer. Even the lyrics can be challenging.

You’ll see when you get to 2:45. That’s 57 colors spat out in rapid succession. And, yes, there are moves to go along with all of it. … MOVES!

Honestly, I’m not too worried about the singing. But the moves, dear Lord, THE MOVES! Also known as dancing. There is just so much dancing in this show. From the Charleston to the Jitterbug, from Apache to Calypso, from Western Square to 60s Go-Go. And then there’s me … floundering like a fish and just trying my damnedest not to fall off the stage … or worse … knock someone else off. Allow me to demonstrate my abilities with this video.

Keep your eye on Bobby during this number. I wanted to single out a particular moment but there were just so many. He is constantly a beat behind the others and actually stumbles a few times. Not that I’m making fun. (Pity)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I may or may not have broken a toe a few days ago. By dropping a computer on it. The swelling is finally down but the deep purple is as vibrant as ever … and making a foot fist is completely out of the question. I snapped a picture of it but then decided unequivocally NOT to post it. (Apparently, I have limits to the grossness I will share. Who knew?)

So anyway, as you glide gracefully through your day, moving effortlessly from one destination to the next with all the agility and form of a majestic eagle, please say a little prayer that I might be able to get my spazzery under control for about a dozen performances in about a month.

I’m very afraid. For all of us.

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