Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

  • Genre Musical
  • Stage Music Theatre
  • Premiere14. October 2006
  • Length1:50 hod.
  • Number of reprises207
  • Final performance3. February 2016

Musical / Czech premiere

The biblical musical Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the first work of brilliant musical composer A. L. Webber created in cooperation with text writer Tim Rice. Nineteen-year-old Webber wrote it originally as a fifteen-minute work to order of a London school on the occasion of concluding a term. But it was so successful that the authors enlarged it to a full-length musical and its premiere took place in London in the year 1972.

The musical is meant for the whole family and the Czech premiere is presented under the management of Stanislav Moša and in choreography of Igor Barberić. Like Jesus Christ Superstar, the musical was first presented abroad in the English and German languages. Already 128 successful repeats were performed in many European countries. As the musical retells an ancient story in an original way, using various techniques including animations, the production is said to be the best interpretation in Europe. So, you have what to look forward to.

Author

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Tim Rice

Directed by

Translation

  • Michael Prostějovský

Dramaturgist

  • Pavlína Hoggard

Choreography

Film animations

Lévi, Číšník

Simeon

Asher

Dan

Benjamin

Juda

2. žena

6. žena

Swing - woman

Swing - man

Off-stage

With a Bible from Brno to Vienna

Josef Herman 9. December 2008 zdroj Divadelní noviny

It was a strange feeling to travel to the Mecca of European continental musicals, Vienna, to the premiere there of Brno's production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's first big hit from when they were young, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, under the direction of Stanislav Moša. Especially to the modern entertainment complex Wiener Stadthalle next to the West Station, into which thousands of people flow every day for entertainment from ice shows through concerts and programmes for children and seniors to cinema and theatre. The pleasantly dark red interior of the auditorium doesn't look as if it will hold 2000 spectators; at the premiere on 1st October there weren't many seats free. In the adjacent, spacious foyer Czech could be heard alongside German, as a lot of people involved in the Czech and particularly Brno theatre scene had come to see the grand opening. Some of them only for a short time - no sooner had they drunk to the successful premiere with the satisfied actors and producers than they were hurrying back to Brno because all morning they had been rehearsing the no less famous Evita from the same authorial duo; they then premiered this new musical in Germany. There is no other theatre in the Czech Republic with such wide-ranging artistic and creative activities throughout the whole of Europe; incidentally their performance of Joseph had already been through half a dozen European cities and town three years before, and its Vienna premiere was the cherry on top of the success of this Brno production.  
           
I don't recall that this musical with a Biblical theme has ever been performed in Vienna; it also attracted the interest of theatregoers via the engagement of two Viennese pop stars: Markus Neugebauer in the title role and Elisabeth Sikora in the role of the Narrator. Sikora had already worked with director Moša on the German version of Cabaret. Unlike in Brno, the production was filled out by a large children's choir, which sat on the edge of the stage on appropriately many-coloured cushions and watched how the Viennese, reinforced by four Brno actors, coped with the musical. Brno City Theatre also added an eleven-member orchestra led by Karel Cón. The Viennese cast was chosen at auditions from 250 actors and dancers and also from six hundred children! The applause they gained was genuine and immense. Including the pre-premiere the production was reprised seventeen times in a block until 19th October, and then it was time for Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, followed by Evita, and so on. This is just as an example of their local repertoire. And just for interest's sake: entrance is from 28 to 62 euros.
           
It was the first time ever that in Vienna they had requested a production from a Czech director and his team.
 
 

A musical with the flavour of Brno

Luboš Mareček 3. October 2008 zdroj MF Dnes

Vienna conquered
Brno City Theatre, and particularly its director Stanislav Moša, widened the imaginary map of their conquered territories in the middle of the week. And it wasn't just an ordinary conquest. Geographically close, yet for many domestic artists very distant and unreachable Vienna was conquered on Wednesday. In the city of waltz, Stanislav Moša introduced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the work of the famous British authorial duo, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, under his direction. And the director wasn't the only one defending the Brno colours in this co-production which has just set off on a journey across Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Four Brno actors and dancers can be seen on stage, Karel Cón's eleven-member band is "ours" as well, and Czech names can be found throughout the whole production team.  It would be just to say that Moša had already tried this title three years ago in a megatour across fifty-five cities of Western Europe. It mustn’t be forgotten, though, that he brought this play by the most famous musical authors in the world to Brno in the Czech premiere afterwards. Art isn't, of course, some kind of sports event or competition. But all first places bear, even in the world of theatre, the mark of real victory. And such an imaginary win was also the Wednesday premiere at the local Stadthalle, and I don't mean merely the praiseworthy spreading of the good name of Brno and the work of our artists.
The red-coloured cauldron of Vienna's town hall with an unbelievable capacity of two thousand people may not have been full up to the brim on Wednesday but despite that, the audience saw a performance which was remarkable as an acting and singing tour-de-force, with musical bravura, exceptionally inventive choreography and mainly easy-to-follow direction, and they rewarded the actors boisterously and with standing ovations. Moša wittily used a huge Bible in the performance, from which an equally witty Old Testament story emerges, and which also serves as a huge canvas for playful film sequences and for the choir of children which was prescribed by Webber. The director seated forty little ones along the sides of the stage. These small spectators watch the story together with the audience. They form, in fact, side barriers to the events on the indefinitely long Vienna stage. In this simple setting, everyone has enough space to show what they can do.  And the local mini-stars, Markus Neugebauer and Elisabeth Sikora, really shone in the main roles.
The creators from Brno City Theatre, under the leadership of Moša, have already worked all across Europe. When they first went to Germany, eighteen years ago, no one could have expected that they would erase the borders a lot sooner than the European Union did.

Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has flown to the Vltava.

Jiří P. Kříž 20. February 2007 zdroj Právo

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first musical production is great for families with children. From today until Sunday it is possible to attend this gourmet musical feast at the Goja Music Hall. It is the first work of the most famous authorial pair Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, written during their student years – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Cooperation between Goja and the Brno City Theatre bore fruit one month ago when they brought Rice and Webber’s masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar to the Vltava. Now we are going back to the year 1968, when both young students found inspiration in the 37th Chapter of Genesis in the Old Testament, about Jacob’s son Joseph. They composed what was then a fifteen minute rock and roll sketch, the seed of the future musical.

How it came into the world.

‘Joseph’ was not a big hit when it came before an audience, but Lloyd Webber hung on to his dream tenaciously like an English bulldog. With Rice he added saffron, thyme, even hyssop and chilli in the form of new songs. There were further versions forthcoming, the first positive responses, then later a sponsor – until it became what it is known as today – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

It hit the West End in 1973, still not in its definitive version, three years later it was already on in Brooklyn, New York, and at the beginning of the eighties ‘Joseph’ conquered Broadway. Celebrated by critics, it achieved a respectable 747 repeats. Then, a decade later, it became an incontrovertible success, when the leading role was played by the legendary Donovan. By that time Rice and Webber’s other joint works ‘Jesus’ and Evita had also become world famous, along with Lloyd Webber’s Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard and many others…

Attentive spectators surely noticed the musical tune of Superstar, but also other numbers. The decadent Elvis-like rock and roll sketch of the Pharaoh (Stano Slovák or Petr Gazdík) is nothing other than the aristocratic irony of Herod’s (from ‘Jesus’) or Peron’s court (the Argentine gentleman in Evita). We can be happy that Michael Prostějovský turned up to take care of the Czech Joseph and his dreamcoat. He is also responsible for the Czech versions of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Cats’. He only translated Evita for the film version. After a disagreement with Petr Novotný the director of the stage version asked for the libretto to be handed over to a cheaper worker, and the stage version turned out how it did. Prostějovský’s Joseph shares the qualities of his previous work: the poetry, the sense for equivalence of phrase, the language employed not slavishly sticking to that of the original, but instead lexically fresh and modern.

When professionals act

Yes, Joseph and his dreamcoat are kitsch. Not however when found in the Old Testament, or for that matter under the direction of Stanislav Moša. This attractive musical came from the pen of Rice and Lloyd Webber, don’t forget. The result: a sprightly and witty story full of humour, catchy songs and dance styles from the time it was written, from rock can-cans to rumba and tango. Yes, ‘kitsch’! But acting-wise, musically (Karel Cón) and choreographically (once again a bravura effort from Igor Barberić of Croatia) perfect, of course.

You will think – can it really be so easy? Yes, because it is in Brno that the best professionals in the Czech Republic from the spheres of acting, singing and dancing can be found. Their pizzazz is somewhat held back by the terrible acoustics and space of the Goja Music Hall...This was also noticeable with ‘Jesus’.

Moša has also managed to convert even the producers. They were strictly insisting on a 40-member children’s choir. “I felt sorry for the children during the London version. In the evening they fell asleep on the stage. When the choirmaster finally succeeded in waking them up, none of them looked particularly jolly, as they had written in their instructions…”

Brno’s Kantiléna appear only in film, which features the children singing straight from the Bible, opening on the scene like a projection screen (very good stage management by Ondřej Zicha). It already went down well (even with the licensing authorities) during the success of Moša’s German version in Hannover and on the European tour.

Dušan Vitázek, Jakub Uličník (he being noticeably less imposing) as Joseph, Markéta Sedláčková and Radka Coufalová-Vidlák (narrators), Zdeněk Junák and Jiří Horký (Jacob and Putifar), all of them along with the Brno dancers with the dominant Aneta Majerová (a sovereign performance in the tango, and beautiful in the other numbers) – it was a joy to be there! Don’t be afraid to bring children to the Goja Music Hall for their education. Joseph is a beautiful fairy tale. In fact, I think, it’s mainly for them.

Joseph’s Dreamcoat is Amazing

Josef Herman 12. December 2006 zdroj Divadelní noviny

The first presented work by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was put on stage of the Brno City Theatre. It was another significant Czech premiere with which we are catching up substantial contexts of the world musical. Just like the legendary Jesus Christ Superstar, the performance had 128 repeats in English and German during the European tour, with participation of Broadway actors. At the Brno City Theatre the musical had to be rehearsed with domestic actors.

Originally, just a twenty-minute termination of a term at a London school (1968), was extended later to a full-length musical which had its premiere in London (1972), precedes the legendary Jesus with a light persiflage of biblical story told in a number of spectacular music numbers. Including the direct predecessor of the famous grotesque scene, Herodes, here Pharaoh, was slightly underestimated vocally by Petr Gazdík, nevertheless he received warm ovations. By the way, like the others and rightly, for his precious articulation of the rich translation by Michael Prostějovský. The witty texts, melodically and rhythmically attractive songs, outspoken events, these all called for an adequately free and easy stage form. Director Stanislav Moša and choreographer Igor Barberić did not complicate anything, they let the figures, resembling those around the engraved Christmas crib, romp around and play on a playfully decorated empty stage. They showed off their admirably managed musical art, which is itself a punch of high quality. Nothing is hidden behind or worked off as another thing, which is the main asset of the performance. From the triple performance I saw Dušan Vitázek in the title role of Joseph, excellent as regards his appearance and motion, he could just improve his intonation; and the comic actor Jiří Horký playing father Jacob. The trump of the performance were numerous, brilliantly sung choirs, in fact, a specific company which basis was formed by Joseph’s twelve brothers. This can be exported to Europe without a blush.

The Titles That Entertain Well

Peter Stoličný 11. December 2006 zdroj www.divadlo.sk

Two Premieres at the Brno City Theatre

The economic situation of the repertoire theatre, subsidized only partially by the city, is not easy. The theatre can take the way of increasing the number of repeats of individual productions, which would make the operation cheaper, but simultaneously, it could involve the risk that the seats would not be always sold out. However, the theatre can take a more courageous way and prepare new and new productions, thus ensuring a sold-out auditorium (of course, if the productions are good), and fight constantly with the budget. It is interesting that the Brno City Theatre has chosen the latter way, although they did not lack spectators in the previous years. I do not remember that the ticket SOLD OUT would be missing at any title on the poster in front of the ticket office. So why do they produce one performance behind another when they are putting on forty titles at two stages? It is really a shocking number. The reason can be only one – they enjoy it! They like doing a good theatre. At the end of October we witnessed two premieres. Goldoni was put on the dramatic scene and the first Lloyd Webber's musical was played at the music scene. Both the performances were merry, had a rich and varicoloured stage design, both could be called: "Kassa Stück". But let's take it in an ordered way.

The Squabbles of Chioggia

Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) has always been an appreciative author for the theatre. This hothead and innovator of Italian drama was born 33 years after Molière's death. He was a contemporary of Voltaire and Rousseau, romanticist Carlo Gozzi and encyclopedist Diderot. In that time, Carl Schlee discovered oxygen, James Watt invented a steam engine and Montgolfiery flied up in a balloon. The Spanish fought with the British, the Russians with Turkey, small wars resulted in the Seven-Year War, Bastilla in Paris was captured and Napoleon occupied a part of Italy. And in that political and military excitement of the eighteenth century, the dramatist Goldoni, who was a lawyer originally, reformed the folk Commedia dell’Arte and got the Italian comedy from the street to baroque stages of town buildings and palaces. His disciplined plays, in which improvisation was replaced with varied dialogues observed in a real life, were first accepted cagily. In fact, the great spectatorial success alternated with misunderstanding throughout the author's life. The comedy Le baruffe Chiozzote (the original title of The Squabbles of Chioggia) was received in the same way. The theme is based on common quarrels which have their origins in small-mindedness (somebody buys roasted pumpkins to somebody else, which causes jealousy) and can bring the families of simple fishermen into big disputes. Proportionally to the small-mindedness of quarrels their comic character is growing. Goldoni has always been topical, you will like laughing at the foolishness of others with him as you witness such nookies every day. The director Zdeněk Černín does not conceal his original profession of actor. The Brno's Squabbles is an excellent drama full of Italian hotheadedness and the dramatic bravura. A swift pace, battles on the stage worked out in a clownish way, seemingly spontaneous but precisely weighed out responses to witty dialogues. These all create the beautiful one hundred and ten minutes without an interval at which the repeated attacks to the spectators' funny-bones almost exhaust their unprepared bodies. After all, you do not meet a constant laughter much often at the present nervous world. But you do on the stage of the Brno City Theatre. You witness the dramatic performances on the varicoloured stage and in the costumes by Jan Dušek, with the crazy music by David Rotter, which have one expressive feature: the actors play their parts brilliantly, enjoy them and show it. It is hard to say which of them is the best. Patron Zdeněk Junák, Beppo played by Martin Havelka or fisherman Fortunato by Erik Pardus? The latter created perfectly unintelligible replies and garbles by leaving out vowels.

Entertainment, nothing else but entertainment. This performance could be called like this in summary. Perhaps, it should be added: a very good entertainment...

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The original title is: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dremcoat. 'technicolor' is a metaphor indicating the pomposity, the superficiality and the kitschy character of the American entertainment industry. Fortunately, the director Moša has grasped Joseph at the Brno Music Scene exactly just like this. As a magnificent, beautiful kitsch. With everything what it includes. The technicolor colours, the lights, the background on which the children choir is projected, the animations of the dessert, the flowers, the palms, etc. The expressive acting and the clearly sung arias and choirs and the musical dancing art can be envied for a long time to the protagonists of the Brno City Theatre. The libretto by Webber's permanent co-worker Tim Rice was translated by Michael Prostějovský who kept consistently to the original. I mention it because the dramaturgy (the Brno one was led by experienced Pavlína Hoggard) usually makes smaller or bigger adaptations of originals. Anyway, Rice's texts are not genial. The author builds the story as a folding picture-book, he is not interested in the real history very much (Che Guevara in the musical Evita was a culmination of the distortion of history), he creates senseless acts of wilfulness and non-dramatic insertions. Perhaps, he would never get on the pedestal of the music and dramatic fame without brilliant Webber. The music numbers of their first, originally student musical bear all signs of undisciplined, mischief-making approach. From Benjamin Calypso to Pharaoh's rock and roll - it is a bold and youthful conglomeration.

Well, what makes the musical so successful? Definitely the music, the vocal and dancing demands that can only be met by the prepared. The Brno's orchestra was conducted by Karel Cón and Igor Rusinko (I saw him) and I must say that in spite of rather a small number of instruments it was a bold interpretation. The Brno singers are extraordinary good dancers and the dancers sing, in short, they are complete musical personalities. At the performance I saw Stano Slovák (from the Slovak Slovák family of actors) who was shining above the others in the role of Pharaoh. By adding the comic manners of a rock star to his flawless singing he came in for a long applause of the audience. His partner Markétka Sedláčková playing the part of diseuse fascinated the audience with her clear voice, but I could continue and enumerate all the performers.

Well, what makes the Brno's performance of Joseph so good? The execution. From the stage design by Ondřej Zich and costumes by Andrea Kučerová, through Černák's and Záhor's film animations, up to the inventive choreography by Igor Barberič. From Stanislav Moša's direction up to the dramatic, vocal and motional performances of all.

A beautiful musical kitsch succeeded. The real Technicolor. But it was meant like this originally. And kitsch is not a swear. When the orange sun declines above the Egyptian pyramids and the leaves of bent palms shine gold, it is a kitsch too. But a beautiful one. The musical at the Brno City Theatre is the same. And it is good.

Brno Has a Musical Hit

ib 30. November 2006 zdroj Květy

I wonder why the first musical of the starring couple of authors Tim Rice a Andrew Lloyd Webber (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats) had been neglected in this country for such a long time. The musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat had its Czech premiere as late as now!

However, it is worth seeing. Originally, the director Stanislav Moša rehearsed the musical in a co-production tour version which had more than 160 repeats in Germany and Luxembourg; this means that the performance is mature and “settled”. Now, Moša presents the musical at the beautiful new Music Scene of the Brno City Theatre.

The Old Testament story about Joseph, sold to slavery by his brothers and appointed Administrator of Egypt, was dressed in the caleidoscopic mixture of music styles and decorated with a playful exaggeration. The Pharaoh - Elvis dances on the stage, Cleopatras wave seductively and Joseph’s brothers present a perfect country music.

The live orchestra, the excellent translation of texts (Michael Prostějovský) and the inventive choreography (Igor Barberić) prepared conditions to Stanislav Moša for the origin of the really extraordinary show: The Brno’s Joseph blazes with freshness and pleasure of playing!

The Brno City Theatre: Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Jan Němec 2. November 2006 zdroj Instinkt

Before the lyricist Tim Rice put the words into the mouth of Jesus Christ Superstar, he trained on another biblical figure. During the student's years he wrote along with A. L. Webber the musical about Joseph, one of Jacob's sons who was sold to Egypt by his brothers.

The Czech premiere took place at the new scene of the Brno City Theatre which produces one musical after another as the testament requires. In this case, the Old Testament, but interpreted radically: The Sfinx is singing, Kleopatras are so sexy that humid things would catch fire of them, and the Pharaoh himself is suspiciously akin to Elvis Presley (his waistcloth is not at rest for a moment). Stanislav Moša’s key directorial approach is always universal: the show must go on. And it is usually successful, for that matter, the premiere audience likes to applaud standing. This is mainly thanks to the music. Now and then, a known melody can be heard, the scenes are designed similarly to those in Jesus Christ Superstar, the story is even more straightforward. So if you have seen Jesus and you liked it, we have a wonderful piece of news for you: the first episode has been found, hurry up to Brno.

Joseph's Varicolored Dreamcoat Flew as Far as the Svitava River

Jiří P. Kříž 19. October 2006 zdroj Právo

First musical fruit by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber will please families with children Thanks God, Michael Prostějovský turned up to translate Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He also translated Jesus, The Cats and Evita (just a film version). After a discrepancy with Petr Novotný the director assigned librettos to a cheaper worker and the Czech version of the musical came out accordingly.

Prostějovský's Joseph bears the qualities of his previous works: poetry, sense of phrase equivalence, the language is not slavishly technicist, but sophisticatedly contemporary from the lexical viewpoint.

When professionals play

Yes. Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a kitsch. But not in the interpretation of the Old Testament or under the direction of Stanislav Moša. It was written by its authors as a viewy, waggishly funny story full of humour, catching songs and period dances, from rock cancan to rumba or tango. It is a demanding, exhausting "kitsch" as for the dramatic art, music (Karel Cón) and choreography (brilliant Igor Barberić from Croatia again). Dos it seem easy to you? That is why our best musical professionals play, sing and dance in Brno.

Moša was able to trick the producers. They strictly insisted on a choir of forty children. "I was sorry for the children in the London version. They were falling asleep on the stage in the evening. When the choir master managed to wake them up, none of them was merry as was prescribed..."

The Brno Kantiléna choir is presented in an additional shot. Children sing right from the Bible opened on the stage to form a screen (very good scenography by Ondřej Zicha). It was appreciated at the successful Moša's German performances and also by the office representing copyrights (I was present in Saarbrűcken). Dušan Vitázek, Jakub Uličník (a little less expressive) as Josephs, Markéta Sedláčková and Radka Coufalová-Vidlák (Diseuses), Zdeněk Junák and Jiří Horký (Jacob and Putifar), they all up to the Brno dancers dominated by Aneta Majerová (her tango was masterful and she was beautiful in the other numbers) – it was a pleasure to see them. Do not worry to bring your children to the Music Scene for education. Joseph is a lovely fairy-tale. And I think it is mainly for children.

Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

14. October 2006 zdroj News from music theatre

I have a weakness for the Brno City Theatre. And I have the same weakness for the musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber (with any librettist). No wonder then that I was completely fascinated almost a year ago when I saw the new performance of Jesus Christ Superstar which I liked much more than the Prague legendary and megasuccessful one I saw in the Spiral as a little child. Let me say the reasons in short: In Brno, there is no maximally loud "Spiraloid" sound which caused me long-time nightmares and a temporary aversion to visists to any musicals, in spite of that the sound is of a very good quality (I should say hi-fi) and the music interpretation is absolutely perfect. And the total feeling from Brno is that "this should be played like this"… with minimal functional coulisses, with infrequent effects, just in suitable places.

When it was announced along with the premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar that the first fruit of Webber and Tim Rice Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would come to Brno in a year, I started to look forward to the performance much more than to any other. When it was clear that the libretto of Joseph, I knew quite confidentially from several TV versions and regarded its playful but quite difficult rhythms almost non-translatable, would be written by translator of Webber's works Michael Prostějovský, I did not hesitate to tell myself I had to see it!

And so, eleven months later I am sitting again comfortably at the Music Scene, waiting for the beginning of Friday public dress rehearsal, which is the first official musical performance of the Old Testament story of Joseph. A moment later I can hear the first tones of a mixture of melodies (I do not know if it is an official overture as the same instrumental mixture is repeated after an interval), the Diseuse comes out of a big book (which one is it?... Right ...The Bible...) and promises a story about a boy... a merry story, full of optimism you will get to such an extent that you will overcome sadder places of the story without problems. Do not worry, you will not leave out the moral instruction, though it will not be projected on the book, it is lovely... Have I spoken about projections on the book? Well, I am ahead a little. In fact, I described 90 % of the scene design which is solved by projections of singing children and other things and moments completing the action and several things on the stage. But sometimes you must choose whether to watch the films or actors on the stage. There is only one bigger stage reconstruction.

I must admit one thing here, though I wanted to mention it at the conclusion, but it fits well here. I mostly envy actors who play favourite roles in performances. Yesterday I envied all the ensemble that they can act in such a wonderful musical. If somebody protruded, it was Radka Coufalová-Vidlák in the part of the Diseuse with a marvellous voice and capability of dominating the stage (as you understand, it is my favourite quality of actors and actresses...). I think I have a new stage favourite. The frequently discussed discovery of the Brno City Theatre Dušan Vitázek surprised pleasantly in the title role, his colour of voice is very pleasant in deeper levels and he is undoubtedly cut out for the role of innocent. A special praise deserves Petr "Gazďa" Gazdík for the role of Pharaon which is a parodic homage to the best-known rock-and-roll kings. And this was an excellent parody and even a better homage... and the perfect work with a microphone provoked a very spontaneous burst of laughter. The following of Joseph's brothers are shining: Ján Jackuliak, Oldřich Smysl with a perfect "French" accent and Lukáš Kantor would deserve a special award for dances. But all the ensemble is a well coordinated team. And a perfect live orchestra is available (only children choirs are played from playback) which studied excellently the varicoloured music mosaic containing many music genres. As the musical is also intended for children, it may serve as a textbook of music.

A little mention in my review should be devoted willy-nilly to Brno theatre programmes and get ready to a lot of praise. While you can buy a thin bigger one with several photos, a synopsis and a dialogue, and texts of some songs if you are lucky, for about CZK 100 at the majority of musical productions, A THICK LITTLE BOOK is available in the Brno City Theatre for every premiere put on the Music Scene for about CZK 80, stuffed with information and photos from the current performance as well as period photos of authors of previous world performances, professional but attractive texts written by music experts and as the greatest stunner, there is a complete (!!!) libretto of the musical in Czech, so several minutes before the performance I could examine the translation of my favourite "Josephian" passages. (How else than with a wit characteristic to Mr Prostějovský.) If you would like to have the classical programme only with photos, it was also available for example for Jesus Christ Superstar, not for Joseph yesterday, but it should be. In short, there is a choice, I personally recommend the books and the "Josephian" has almost 200 pages!! Well, there is an error in years from time to time, but I am glad to forgive.

I think the production will become one of the great number of iconic performances of the Brno City Theatre.

If you are looking for a musical which is not sad but will charge you with optimism, you must go for a trip to Brno. I hope you will say soon: "You haven't seen it yet?". You will see that you will not be sorry for the ordeal when buying tickets. It is not easy to get tickets at the ticket office of the Brno City Theatre. This topic would really deserve a separate article. Nevertheless, it is the only negative of the theatre of really world parameters, perfect spectator service and quite friendly ticket prices.

Spectators Tour the Whole World with the Musical about Joseph

Simona Polcarová 24. January 2005 zdroj Rovnost

It is January 21 2005, 8 o’clock. The musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on in the Hannover Theater am Aegi – in German! And so the song Any Dream Will Do made famous by Jason Donovan, pop star from Australia, at the end of the 1980’s, starts with the words Die Augen zu...

An open book stands on the stage on which the faces of children from the Brno choir Kantiléna are projected (by the way their marvellous choirs create a background of the performance). A woman narrator introduces the audience into the story. The protagonist is Jacob’s son Joseph who experiences a lot of adventures. At the beginning, his brothers sell him as a slave and so Joseph gets to Egypt, but later also to the Wild West. In less than two hours the audience tours almost the whole world with him. With each song pages in the book are changed (new environment is completed with witty animations by Dalibor Černák), the scenes go one after another, the action is moving fast, the songs have appreciative melodies.

The director Stanislav Moša had enough playing especially with the scene at the Pharaoh’s. He has an image of divine Elvis Presley who literally shocks one of temple dancers with his virility. Another successful scene is where hungry Joseph’s brothers do not scorn with a fly. In the grand finale all melodies repeat, the audience gets up and claps the actors in the rhythm. The performance has at least four curtains.

Brno Musical Tours 55 German Cities

Luboš Mareček 24. January 2005 zdroj MF Dnes

Brno Joseph Got an Exception

The musical king Andrew Lloyd Weber awarded an extraordinary exception to the Brno performance of his first fruit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Brno City Theatre is the first theatre company in Europe which can tour Germany without the prescribed children’s choir. Two dozens of little singers from the Brno choir Kantiléna accompany the action with their voices heard from a witty video projection. “Weber appreciated and approved our scenic solution, we are really the first,” the director of the ninety-minute performance Stanislav Moša said. The central curtain is made by a high, open book on which pages funny animated added scenes and singing children are projected. For the same performance in Brno Moša promised little singers flesh and blood.

“I am really surprised at the reception we got in Germany. We really had no performance without standing ovations,” the tour leader Jiří Horký said before the Friday performance. The German audience, rather known for their distance, gave the theatre a warm reception with five curtains and standing ovations also in Hannover.

Joseph and His Amazing Dreamcoat

im 1. December -1 zdroj Kult

The performance, like the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, has over almost one hundred and thirty successful repeats of German and English versions in several European cities. The musical written by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice was originally just a fifteen-minute work written to finish a term at a London school. Then, the nineteen-year authors were so successful that enlarged the work to a full-length musical. The premiere was held in London in the year 1972. The Brno performance, successful abroad, tells in an unusual way about the things passed long since, but still proximal to us. The scenic interpretation using various techniques including animations is regarded as the best one in Europe.

Brno City Theatre: Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

David Kroča 1. December -1 zdroj Review for the Czech Radio 3 Vltava

The first fruit of the authors of the famous musical Jesus Christ Superstar surprises with its simplicity. Linear theme, catchy songs, natural and intelligible choirs: these are the principal features of the work presented under the title Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The originally fifteen-minute work was ordered by a London school at the end of the 1960's for a festival conclusion of a term. As it was very successful, the authors extended it soon to a full-length musical which was put on for the first time in London in the year 1972. In the extended version, taking less than ninety minutes, Joseph is more a pop-oratorio or a pop-cantata than a real musical. The story line comes out of the well-known Old Testament story of Jacob and his son Joseph and his eleven brothers, however the story is not the most significant thing. It is an assembly of music numbers, connected freely with the biblical theme, alternating various music styles and genres from pop, through country, up to the parody of classic rock-and-roll.

Director Stanislav Moša benefits from one significant positive of libretto, i.e. self-irony. He stages Joseph with a great dose of a detached view, includes parodic elements even in big revual numbers to lighten the sentiment of the story. The number of Egyptian Pharaon who got an irresistible appearance of divine Elvis belongs probably to the most successful comic scenes. Sometimes, there is too much dancing and pulling faces, for example when hungry brothers are brought with such an exaggeration that they start to resemble a gang of stupids. The story lacks drama on the musical stage, so it is sometimes not perceived as a theatre performance, but rather a show, which is a pity. As for the music, dancing and singing, it cannot be described otherwise than in superlatives. It is evident that the musical has got over the tour abroad. Everything functions with a mechanical precision, not only thanks to the witty choreography by Igor Barberić. Stage manager Moša used the exemption granted by the owners of copyrights and does not bring a live children choir to the stage, but uses pre-shot video clips of little singers from the Brno Kantilena choir and completes them with animations commenting ironically the action on the stage. The screen on the practical scene designed by Ondřej Zicha is formed of a huge bible of which come out animated figures and a live diseuse.

Three actors alternate in the role of Joseph - Jakub Uličník, Dušan Vitázek and Vladimír Volečko. At the second premiere I saw Jakub Uličník who sings well simple melodic songs and corresponds to the type of the likeable and morally clean protagonist. But the title role is not - like the musical Jesus - the most difficult vocal part. That was given to the figure of Diseuse, entering the action incessantly and singing a number of key songs. Markéta Sedláčková sang strongly and vigorously, even in high levels, and did not forget the dramatic dimension of action mover. Of further actors let me mention Stanislav Slovák whose egoistic Pharaon is an example of successful comic figure.

The task of the musical Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is to amuse mainly a family audience, but I dare to say that it will neither outrage a more demanding spectator. Just for him it may be interesting to reveal how many well-known melodies are hidden in the older but less known brother of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Titles That Entertain Well

Peter Stoličný 1. December -1

Two Premieres at the Brno City Theatre

The economic situation of the repertoire theatre, subsidized only partially by the city, is not easy. The theatre can take the way of increasing the number of repeats of individual productions, which would make the operation cheaper, but simultaneously, it could involve the risk that the seats would not be always sold out. However, the theatre can take a more courageous way and prepare new and new productions, thus ensuring a sold-out auditorium (of course, if the productions are good), and fight constantly with the budget. It is interesting that the Brno City Theatre has chosen the latter way, although they did not lack spectators in the previous years. I do not remember that the ticket SOLD OUT would be missing at any title on the poster in front of the ticket office. So why do they produce one performance behind another when they put on forty titles at two stages at present? It is really a shocking number. The reason can be only one – they enjoy it! They like doing a good theatre.

At the end of October we witnessed two premieres. Goldoni was put on at the dramatic scene and the first Lloyd Webber's musical was played at the music scene. Both the performances were merry, had the rich and varicoloured stage design, both could be called: "Kassa Stück". But let's take it in an ordered way.

Carlo Goldoni (1707–1793) has always been an appreciative author for the theatre. This hothead and innovator of Italian drama was born 33 years after Molière's death. He was a contemporary of Voltaire and Rousseau, romanticist Carlo Gozzi, encyclopedist Diderot. In that time, Carl Schlee discovered oxygen, James Watt invented a steam engine and Montgolfiery flied up in a balloon. The Spanish fought with the British, the Russians with Turkey, small wars resulted in the Seven-Year War, Bastilla in Paris was captured and Napoleon occupied a part of Italy. And in that political and military excitement of the eighteenth century, the dramatist Goldoni, who was a lawyer originally, reformed the folk Commedia dell’Arte and got the Italian comedy from the street to baroque stages of town buildings and palaces. His disciplined plays, in which improvisation was replaced with varied dialogues observed in a real life, were first accepted cagily. In fact, the great spectatorial success alternated with misunderstanding throughout the author's life. The comedy Le baruffe Chiozzote (the original title of The Squabbles of Chioggia) was received in the same way. The theme is based on common quarrels which have their origins in small-mindedness (somebody buys roasted pumpkins to somebody else, which causes jealousy) and can bring the families of simple fishermen into big disputes. Proportionally to the small-mindedness of quarrels their comic character is growing. Goldoni has always been topical, you will like laughing at the foolishness of others with him as you witness such nookies every day. The director Zdeněk Černín does not conceal his original profession of actor. The Brno's Squabbles is an excellent drama full of Italian hotheadedness and the dramatic bravura. A swift pace, battles on the stage worked out in a clownish way, seemingly spontaneous but precisely weighed out responses to witty dialogues. These all create the beautiful one hundred and ten minutes without an interval at which the repeated attacks to the spectators' funny-bones almost exhaust their unprepared bodies. After all, you do not meet a constant laughter much often at the present nervous world. But you do on the stage of the Brno City Theatre. You witness the dramatic performances on the varicoloured stage and in the costumes by Jan Dušek, with the crazy music by David Rotter, which have one expressive feature: the actors play their parts brilliantly, enjoy them and show it. It is hard to say which of them is the best. Patron Zdeněk Junák, Beppo played by Martin Havelka or fisherman Fortunato by Erik Pardus? The latter created perfectly unintelligible replies and garbles by leaving out vowels.

Entertainment, nothing else but entertainment. This performance could be called like this in summary. Perhaps, it should be added a very good entertainment...

Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Right at the beginning, a small misunderstanding concerning the title should be explained. "Technicolor" does not mean varicoloured as it is translated into Czech. In the year 1917 Herbert T. Kalmus invented a new process of production of colour film that was called Technicolor. The name of this technology has become common as the term for a colour film. If the librettist Tom Rice had wanted to express that the dreamcoat had many colours, he would have written "Colourful". However, 'technicolor' is a metaphor indicating the pomposity, the superficiality and the kitschy character of the American entertainment industry. Fortunately, the director Moša has grasped Joseph at the Brno Music Scene exactly just like this. As a magnificent, beautiful kitsch. With everything what it includes. The technicolor colours, the lights, the background on which the children choir is projected, the animations of the dessert, the flowers, the palms, etc. The expressive acting and the clearly sung arias and choirs and the musical dancing art can be envied for a long time to the protagonists of the Brno City Theatre. The libretto by Webber's permanent co-worker Tim Rice was translated by Michael Prostějovský who kept consistently to the original. I mention it because the dramaturgy (the Brno one was led by experienced Pavlína Hoggard) usually makes smaller or bigger adaptations of originals. Anyway, Rice's texts are not genial. The author builds the story as a folding picture-book, he is not interested in the real history very much (Che Guevara in the musical Evita was a culmination of the distortion of history), he creates senseless acts of wilfulness and non-dramatic insertions. Perhaps, he would never get on the pedestal of the music and dramatic fame without brilliant Webber. The music numbers of their first, originally student musical bear all signs of undisciplined, mischief-making approach. From Benjamin Calypso to Pharaoh's rock and roll - it is a bold and youthful conglomeration. Well, what makes the musical so successful? Definitely the music, the vocal and dancing demands that can only be met by the prepared. The Brno's orchestra was conducted by Karel Cón and Igor Rusinko (I saw him) and I must say that in spite of rather a small number of instruments it was a bold interpretation. The Brno singers are extraordinary good dancers and the dancers sing, in short, they are complete musical personalities. At the performance I saw Stano Slovák (from the Slovak Slovák family of actors) who was shining above the others in the role of Pharaoh. By adding the comic manners of a rock star to his flawless singing he came in for a long applause of the audience. His partner Markétka Sedláčková playing the part of diseuse fascinated the audience with her clear voice, but I could continue and enumerate all the performers.

Well, what makes the Brno's performance of Joseph so good? The execution. From the stage design by Ondřej Zich and costumes by Andrea Kučerová, through Černák's and Záhor's film animations, up to the inventive choreography by Igor Barberič. From Stanislav Moša's direction up to the dramatic, vocal and motional performances of all.

A beautiful musical kitsch succeeded. The real Technicolor. But it was meant like this originally. And kitsch is not a swear. When the orange sun declines above the Egyptian pyramids and the leaves of bent palms shine gold, it is a kitsch too. But a beautiful one. The musical at the Brno City Theatre is the same. And it is good.

Joseph’s Dreamcoat is Really Amazing and Varicoloured

Vladimír Čech 1. December -1 zdroj Kam

However the choice of titles written by the tandem of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber means a bet on certainty, there is a danger at the same time that producers can break their teeth on them. However, this does not concern the Brno City Theatre which was praised for the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in many European countries and this situation repeated in case of the German and later the English performance of the first fruit of these authors entitled Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed in many countries of the old continent (to date, 164 performances have been performed abroad). At present, the Brno City Theatre offers “Jesus” as well as “Joseph’s Dreamcoat” to domestic spectators. Of course, in the Czech version, in the brilliant translation by Michael Prostějovský, moreover in the Czech premiere (October 14 & 15, 2006).

The old story from the Book of Genesis about charismatic Joseph sold by his brothers to slavery, who gets to the peak of society by his own endeavour, is served by the authors in a human way, without any pathetic moralizing and heavy philosophizing ballast. Thus, Joseph’s life peripeteias are unwound with a humorous view from above and a warm kindness, although the title hero sometimes undergoes a hard struggle for his naked life. Andrew Lloyd Webber is not by far so rock as in his subsequent musical “Jesus”, but his melodic middle stream has nothing in common with mediocrity. His melodies are sweet, catching, but really not truckling. Besides one or two prosaic sentences, the whole work is a huge music score squeezed in two hours with an interval in Brno.

The director Stanislav Moša did not take away anything of the amazing and varicoloured character of “Joseph’s dreamcoat”, on the contrary, he added something. The lightness, the airiness and the swing of the performance was intensified extremely by Igor Barberić’s inventive choreography. As it is usual with this type of moving music theatre, it is difficult to define the frontier between the sphere of director’s ideas and the sphere of the dancing master.

The initial theme of Ondřej Zicha’s stage design is an opening bible, but its “illustrations” are not hypocritical, but prettily merry, in the form of naive film animations created by Dalibor Černák and Benedikt Záhora. And this solution stresses the total playfulness of events. In this respect, Andrea Kučerová could also have a good frolic when designing the costumes. And if Rice and Webber prescribe strictly a children’s choir, it is not missing in Brno, although the little faces look from a film screen (the recording for videoproduction was made by the Kantiléna choir). If the atmosphere of the second Sunday premiere was even better, it was mainly due to Markéta Sedláčková who excelled in the hard part of Diseuse, while this role was apparently out of the strength of Radka Coufalová-Vidláková, mainly as regards intonation. At the first premiere, Dušan Vitázek was much more virile Joseph than more lyrical Jakub Uličník 24 hours later. However, there was no abysmal difference in the two performances.

Both the premieres, the first conducted by Karel Cón, the second by Igor Rusinko, confirmed again the traditional picture of the Brno City Theatre as the ensemble charged with energy. The actors play with a huge drive, but with a juvenile lightness, bottomless vitality and smiles on their lips.

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