Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Technicolor" I love that word!  I can picture this wonderful rainbow of colors floating around my head.  Until one of my friends ask me to tell him what "Technicolor" really was.  I was ashamed to admit that I didn't know.

"Technicolor became known and celebrated for its highly saturated color, and was initially most commonly used for filming musicals"

Musicals ... you mean like "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"?  Something I have never seen and don't know what it is about?? But before I get to the musical, what is a "dreamcoat"?

"What is a Technicolor Dreamcoat?
According to Genesis 37:3, Jacob made Joseph a k’tonet pasim because he loved him more than any of his other sons. K’tonet is the same word used to depict the fur garments that Adam and Eve used to clothe themselves when they realized, post-sin, that they were naked, and it is the same root used to describe the High Priest’s robe. Coat is a valid translation, but pasim is a harder term to define.
According to the medieval French commentator Rashi, the word refers to the garment’s woolen material. Rashi cites references to karpas (wool) in Esther 1:6 and to a k’tonet pasim, a woolen coat, in Samuel 2, 13:18. A midrash that Rashi cites claims the word is an acronym for Joseph’s troubles: Being sold as a slave to Potiphar in Egypt by the Sokharim (merchants), Ishmaelites, and Midyanites (thus PSIM). Nowhere does Rashi suggest the coat was colorful.
According to Genesis, Joseph’s father actually made the coat himself. However, in the song “Joseph’s Coat,” the narrator sings, “Jacob wanted to show the world he loved his son. To make it clear that Joseph was the special one. So Jacob bought his son a coat, a multi-colored coat to wear.” There is also no biblical account that backs up the play’s characterization of the coat having “golden lining” or that “a king would stop and stare.”
Surely a title like “Joseph and the Troublesome Woolen Coat” would not be the stuff of musical theater, but it would have been a title more in line with the biblical narrative. 
The play also veers from the biblical account on a number of other details, confusing the order of Joseph’s brothers, mischaracterizing Joseph’s dreams, and more. Despite the play’s inconsistencies, though, it has educated many people about the biblical narrative. Rice claimed in a 1981 newspaper interview that many of those who grew up in the early 1970s also learned about the Bible from another Webber-Rice production which came after Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar.

So I guess a "dreamcoat" was a multi-color woolen coat.  Ok, so much for that myth exploded.  I had thought it would be so much more.

But back to the musical, "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat".  What was it about?  

"The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through. Its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music.  It was created in 1968, but didn't play in USA until 1970.
It is still playing to this day!  There is an entire 2016 schedule of dates at

Wow.  I never knew it was such a big deal!  At the bottom of this page is a short trailer from youtube.  It really was interesting to watch this clip.  I think that I would go to see the presentation if it was playing near me.

According to various sources on the internet, "Joseph was originally written to educate and entertain students. A British teacher and friend of Webber’s, Alan Doggett, contacted Webber in 1967 and commissioned a 15-minute pop musical for a performance at the school where Doggett taught. Webber called Rice and asked him to write the lyrics. After rejecting stories about spies (like 007), the two young men, who were not yet famous, decided to do the biblical story of Joseph."

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