'Joseph' will friend patrons at Cumberland County Playhouse

'Joseph' will friend patrons at Cumberland County Playhouse

November 15th, 2012 by Clint Cooper in Life Entertainment


• What: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

• When: Friday, Nov. 16-Sunday, Dec. 23.

• Where: Cumberland County Playhouse, 221 Tennessee St., Crossville, Tenn.

• Admission: $14-$26.

• Phone: 931-484-5000.

• Website: www.ccplayhouse.com.

Playgoers will notice some pop-culture updates when "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" opens Friday, Nov. 16, at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tenn.

The production, which was the first full-length work by the team of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, tells the biblical tale of Joseph, his devoted father, his jealous brothers and his series of adventures.

"It's a wonderful piece," said Playhouse producing director Jim Crabtree, "but we're having fun with a little more contemporary approach to it."

The contemporary approach, he said, reflects social media such as Facebook and Twitter and includes references to television and other media.

Also, look for a group of women being referred to as The Real Housewives of Canaan.

"'Joseph' always had a 20th-century sense of humor about it," he said. "Andrew Lloyd Webber kicked that off with his portrayal of the Pharaoh as The King [a character similar to Elvis Presley]. That gives us a little liberty to have fun with some of the other characters."

Of primary interest is the variety of musical styles, from country to calypso to rock 'n' roll. Included are such numbers as the contemplative "Any Dream Will Do," the Caribbean-influenced "Benjamin Calypso," the rockabilly "Song of the King (Seven Fat Cows)" and the lively "Go, Go, Go Joseph."

While the production bears the original 1997 Cumberland County physical design by Leonard Harmon, now a television art director, it has all new choreography and staging.

"It has new bells and whistles," Crabtree said. "It's a lot of fun, with contemporary and media twists."

The production has a cast of 80, including the theater's entire resident company, "plus a wonderful group of volunteers and kids," Crabtree said.

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.