Production History

1968 Colet Court School
1969 Concept Album
1973 West End
1982 Broadway
1991 Revival
1999 Video
2003 2nd Revival
2007 3rd Revival
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Anyone from anywhere can make
it if they get a lucky break

-- Joseph, Stone The Crows

© Dewynters.

Way Way Back...

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat began when Alan Doggett of Colet Court School asked Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to compose a piece for his choir's end of term concert for 1 March 1968. What emerged was the first incarnation of Joseph -- each time Joseph was subsequently performed, it grew in size. There was a repeat performance on 12 May at Central Hall, Westminster, and one at St. Paul's Cathedral on 9 November 1968 by invitation of Dean Martin Sullivan. The Central Hall performance was reviewed. The Times Educational Supplement review, by Meirion Bowen, mentioned that Tim sang the role of Pharaoh; Derek Jewell's article "Pop Goes Joseph" in The Times discussed Joseph before reviewing a performance by Cliff Richard at Talk of the Town.

The success of Joseph led to a deal with Decca for an album that was released in January of 1969. This album was produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber for Norrie Paramor. The album featured the Mixed Bag with David Daltry, and had Tim reprising his role as Pharaoh.

It wasn't until after Jesus Christ Superstar that Joseph was "properly" staged. (During the summer of 1970, a school in Queens had put on the show, inviting Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to come to America for the premiere.) It premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 1972, and transferred to the West End's Albery Theatre in 1973. The cast included Peter Reeves as the narrator, Gary Bond as Joseph, and Gordon (Waller) as Pharaoh; the director was Frank Dunlop.

The Broadway opening at the Royale Theatrw was on 27 January 1982 with Bill Hutton as Joseph, Laurie Beechman as the narrator (the first woman to play what had traditionally been a male role), and Tom Carder as Pharaoh; it was directed by Tony Tanner. Tim Rice produced the cast recording with Roger Watson, and both Tim and Andrew Lloyd Webber were listed as executive producers for Evita Records, Ltd.

Joseph All The Time

On 12 June 1991, Andrew Lloyd Webber launched a revival of Joseph through his company, the Really Useful Group (RUG), directed by Steven Pimlott at the Palladium in the West End. This version starred Jason Donovan (later replaced by Philip Schofield who also won acclaim for the role) as Joseph, Linzi Hateley as the narrator, and David Easter as Pharaoh. The production won the 1991 Ivor Novello award for Best British Musical.

The show went on to open in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre on 25 February 1993 with soap star Michael Damian in the title role, Kelli Rabke as the narrator, and Robert Torti as Pharaoh. It then transferred to Broadway on 10 November 1993.

The Canadian production at the Elgin Theater in Toronto opened on 18 June 1992 and billed Donny Osmond as Joseph, with Janet Metz as the narrator and Johnny Seaton as Pharaoh. Donny Osmond later returned to Canada for four return engagments; the fourth began on 7 March 1997 at the Elgin Theatre.

It is this 1990's revival version of Joseph which had touring productions in the US, UK and Canada.

David Dixon toured with the show for a 12 week run in Singapore (ending 12 April 1998), New Zealand, and Hong Kong (summer of 1998).

A 14-city US/Canadian tour began on 19 May 1998 in Dallas with David Osmond. It concluded 20 September 1998 after stops in Kitchener (Ontario), Syracuse (New York), Pittsburgh, Houston, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Rosemont (Illinois), Madison, Flint (Michigan), Norfolk, Montreal, Tucson, and Phoenix.

A 2001 mainly-UK tour was lauchned by the ever-present Bill Kenwright with stops at : Worthing, Pavilion THeatre (8 - 13 October); Belfast, Grand Opera House (15 - 20 October); York, Grand Opera House (22 - 27 October); Stratford Upon Avon, RSC Theatre (29 October - 3 November); Derry, Millennium Theatre (5 - 10 November), Wimbledon, Wimbeldon Theatre (12 - 17 November); Stoke, Regent Theatre (19 November - 1 December); Bradford, Alhambra (3 - 8 December); Sheffiled, Lyceum Theatre (10 December - 5 January 2002).

Filming Joseph & 2nd Revival

The movie of Joseph, which had been talked about for almost a decade, was slated to begin filming with Donny Osmond in the Winter of 1998, but was postponed. The production team from the revival and from the Cats video was mainly combined for the Joseph film. The stage director was Steven Pimlott, with David Mallet as the film director. Mark Thompson was the production designer, and Nic Knowland was the director of photography. Choreography was by Antony Van Laast. Nigel Wright was the music producer, and Mike Reed was the music director. The cast featured Osmond as Joseph, joined by Maria Friedman as the Narrator, Robert Torti as Pharaoh, Richard Attenborough as Jacob, Joan Collins as Mrs. Potiphar, and Ian McNeice as Potiphar. The filming took place in London from around 26 July to mid-August 1999 on three separate sound stages at Pinewood Studios. The film was released direct to video in the UK on 8 November 1999 and in Australia and Germany in November 1999. It was released in Belguim, Holland, and parts of Switzerland on 9 December 1999; Italy and the remainder of Switzerland on 7 February 2000; Spain on 8 February 2000; and in the US 28 March 2000 ($19.98 VHS, $29.98 DVD). All other countries had release dates sometime in 2000.
Concept, 1979 Studio, Broadway,
London Revival Albums   © 2004 JJB.

The Joseph video was shown in the United States on PBS television stations on 5 April 2000.

The Really Useful Group staged another West End Joseph revival in 2003, this time under the direction of Bill Kenwright, who had twenty years of experience with touring productions of Joseph. The production starred former Boyzone singer Stephen Gately as Joseph, Vivienne Carlyle as the Narrator, and Trevor Jary as Pharaoh. It opened at the New London Theatre (formerly home to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats) on 3 March 2003 after a preview period beginning on 13 February 2003. The production had previously played in Liverpool at the Empire from 16 December 2002 through 11 January 2003. On 15 January 2004 the show received an Olivier nomination for Outstanding Musical Production. On 1 March 2004 H, formerly with the pop group Steps, took over the title role.

While still playing in the West End, a 2004 UK tour of Joseph was launched with the following stops: Darlinton - 12 July; Ayr - 19 July; Croydon - 6 September; Poole - 13 September; Inverness - 2 August; Birmingham - 9 August; Nottingham - 20 September; Norwich - 4 October; Brighton - 11 October; Liverpool - 18 October; Stoke-on-Trent - 25 October; Edinburgh - 1 November; Southampton - 8 November; Milton Keynes - 15 November; Sheffield - 22 November; Bradford - 6 December; Watford - 20 December. The tour continued on into 2005 with stops in : Bournemouth - 29 August - 3 September (Pavilion Theatre); Cambridge - 5-10 September (Corn Exchange); Plymouth - 12-17 September (Theatre Royal); Aberdeen - 19-24 September (His Majesty's Theatre); Billingham - 26 September 1-October (Forum Theatre); Cardiff - 3-8 October (New Theatre); Southsea - 17-22 October (Kings Theatre); Rhyl - 24-29 October (Pavilion Theatre); Bradford - 31 October - 5 November (Alhambra Studio); Eastbourne - 7-12 November (Devonshire Park Theatre); Cheltenham - 14-19 November (Everyman Theatre); Bath - 21-26 November (Theatre Royal); Sheffield - 28 November - 3 December (Crucible Theatre); Ashton-Under-Lyne - 5-31 December (Tameside Hippodrome).

The Bill Kenwright directed Joseph revival closed on 2 April 2005.

A new US Tour through Troika Entertainment starring Patrick Cassidy as Joseph and Amy Adams (of American Idol fame) as the Narrator began 6 September 2005 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin playing at the Uihlein Hall. The tour schedule to included stops in the following cities: Milwaukee, WI - 6-11 September 2005 (Uihlein Hall); Minneapolis, MN - 13-18 September 2005 (Historic Orpheum Theatre); St. Louis, MO - 20 September - 2 October 2005 (Fox Theatre); Appleton, WI - 4-9 October 2005 (Fox Cities PAC); Pittsburgh, PA - 11-16 October 2005 (Heinz Hall); Washington, D.C. - 18-23 October 2005 (Warner Theatre); Kalamazoo, MI - 25-27 October 2005 (Miller Auditorium); Akron, OH - 28-30 October 2005 (E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Centre); Boston, MA - 1-13 November 2005 (Colonial Theatre); Richmond, VA - 15-20 November 2005 (Landmark Theatre); Chicago, IL - 22 November - 4 December 2005 (Auditorium Theatre); Buffalo, NY - 6-11 December 2005 (Shea's PAC); Rochester, NY - 13-18 December 2005 (Auditorium Theatre); Ft. Myers, FL - 27 December 2005 - 1 January 2006 (Mann Performing Arts Hall); Palm Beach, FL - 3-8 January 2006 (Kravis Center for the Performing Arts); Orlando, FL - 10-15 January 2006 (Carr Performing Arts Centre); New Orleans, LA - 17-22 January 2006 (Saenger Theatre); Baltimore, MD - 24 January - 5 February 2006 (Hippodrome Theatre); Cincinnati, OH - 14-26 February 2006 (Procter & Gamble Hall); Philadelphia, PA (28 February - 5 March 2006 (Merriam Theatre); San Antonio, TX - 14-19 March 2006(Majestic Theatre); Salt Lake City, UT - 21-26 March 2006 (Capitol Theatre); Seattle, WA (28 March - 2 April 2006 (Paramount Theatre); Portland, OR - 4-9 April 2006 (Keller Auditorium); Madison, WI - 12-15 April 2006 (Overture Hall); Tampa Bay, FL (18-23 April 2006 (Carol Morsani Hall); Indianapolis, IN (25-30 April 2006 (Murat Theatre); Columbus, OH - 2-7 May 2006 (Palace Theatre); Tempe, AZ - 6-11 June 2006 (ASU Gammage Auditorium); Cost Mesa, CA - 11-23 July 2006 (Segerstrom Hall); Omaha, NE - 27-30 July 2006 (Orepheum Theatre).

Any Dream Will Do For The BBC & The People's Joseph

On 19 December 2006, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced that he had partnered with the BBC for a nation-wide search to cast Joseph through television talent show called "Any Dream Will Do". As with the previous run-away-success How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Graham Norton would host the show and Andrew Lloyd Webber would serve as a judge. The initial announcement stated that the show would cast the roles of the Narrator, Joseph and Pharaoh, and would also select a school choir for the children's chorus, with auditions beginning in major cities across the UK in early 2007. The show would be broadcast on BBC One in the summer of 2007 on Saturday nights.

As plans for the show progressed, the casting was narrowed down to focus on the role of Joseph only. The dates for those wishing to audition for the title role were announced on 16 January 2007. The auditions took place in February and March as follows: Cardiff - 16 & 17 February, Belfast - 23 & 24 February, Glasgow - 25 & 26 February, Manchester - 204 March, London - 9-11 March.

After the Joseph auditions for which were attended by over 10,000 hopefuls, the successful candidates attended a "Joseph School" where further cuts were made. The final 12 would compete on the television show.

The first episode of "Any Dream Will Do" aired 31 March 2007 and the show continued to air each Saturday night at 7.45pm until its conclusion on 9 June 2007 when Lee Mead was voted as the winner. The final show was watched by over six million viewers. The judges for "Any Dream Will Do" in addition to Andrew Lloyd Webber were actor John Barrowman, director Bill Kenwright, vocal coach Zoe Tyler and actress Denise Van Outen. The three Joseph contenders going into the final were Lewis Bradley, Keith Jack and Lee Mead. Ben Ellis was the fourth runner-up, having made it through to the semi-final. Craig Chalmers, another "Any Dream Will Do" contestant, went on to play Joseph in a touring production of the show directed by Bill Kenwright opening on 20 August 2007 in Bromley and concluding after stops in Bath, Brighton, Cheltenham, Kings Lynn, High Wycombe, Plymouth, Derry, Dublin, Aberdeen, Cardiff, Bristol in Sheffield on 8 December 2007.

On 11 June 2007, the winner of the on-line school choir competition was announced. Of approximately 850 entries, the choir of Brampton Primary School in East Ham was chosen. The choir sang live on the final episode of "Any Dream Will Do" on 9 June 2007 and performed at the charity night of the show on 16 July 2007.

Just prior to the last episode of "Any Dream Will Do", the rest of the cast for Joseph was announced. The cast included Preeya Kalidas (who had starred in Bombay Dreams) as the Narrator, Stephen Tate (Judas from the original London production of Jesus Christ Superstar) as Jacob and Dean Collinson as Pharaoh.

To help support Children In Need, a recording of Any Dream Will Do by Lee Mead backed with Close Every Door sung by the final three Josephs and a karaoke track. The single began receiving air play on Monday, 11 June, and was available for download from Tuesday, 12 June and for purchase at shops from Monday, 19 June. It charted at #2 its second week. The single raised over £57,000 for the charity. The proceeds from the 16 July and 16 November performances were also donated to Children In Need. In total, including money collected from the telephone voting during the Any Dream Will Do television show, Joseph raised £600,000 for the charity.

A press conference for Joseph was held on 18 June 2007 at the Adelphi Theatre. The press was introduced to both Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas.

Lee Mead took part in the 20-minute medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs at the 1 July 2007 memorial concert for the Princess of Wales performed at Wembley Stadium and broadcast internationally. Lee, along with former Josephs Donny Osmond and Jason Donovan, sang "Any Dream Will Do".

Tickets for Joseph went on sale on 31 March 2007. By the beginning of July, tickets for Joseph were selling so rapidly that Lee Mead's contract was extended until June 2008 and another 250,000 tickets went on sale. Lee's holiday schedule was revised to accommodate the longer run, with him taking a break from the production 14-26 January, 10-15 March and 5-10 May 2008. In mid-August 2007 it was announced that Any Dream Will Do finalist Lewis Bradley would be playing the title role while Lee was on holiday.

London's Adelphi Theatre   © 2008 JJB.
The new production of Joseph opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 17 July 2007 with previews having begun on 6 July 2007. The production introduced a new Elvis-esque song for Pharaoh written especially by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber titled "King Of My Heart". The direction of the show was based upon the 1991 revival by the late Steven Pimlott under the assistance of the show's associate director Nichola Treherne. The set and costume design, which also mirrors the Pimlott production, was by Mark Thompson. The show was choreographed by Anthony Van Laast with lighting by Andrew Bridge, sound by Mick Potter, musicial supervision by Simon Lee and featured orchestrations by John Cameron.

While the show was still in previews, the box office had taken in an advance of over £10 million. The opening night was a critical and audience success, despite a technical glitch regarding the revolve stage in the middle of Act One which halted the production for several minutes. The show was attended by the other "Any Dream Will Do" contestants who joined Lee Mead on stage at the end of the show. At the curtain call, both Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber came on stage to extol the cast and production, and to pay tribute to Steven Pimlott whose vision had been so wonderfully brought to life.

A special edition of the 1991 cast CD starring Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley was released 1 October 2007. It included two bonus tracks from the 2007 production : Any Dream Will Do sung by Lee Mead and King Of My Heart sung by Dean Collison.

Lee Mead's final performance in Joseph was on 10 January 2009. The show was attended by both Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Gareth Gates, the first ever Pop Idol winner from 2002, took over the title role on 9 February 2009.

Although gone from the London stage, Lea Mead reached out to American audiences as television channel BBC American broadcast the Any Dream Will Do show, airing the first episode on 29 March 2009.

In the beginning of April 2009, it was announced that Joseph would shutter on 30 May 2009. The final cast included Gareth Gates in the title role with Jenna Lee-James as the Narrator, Stephen Tate as Jacob, and Dean Collinson as Pharaoh.

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