Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Hitch a rainbow ride through ancient Egypt when Pittsburgh CLO kicks off its 63rd Summer Season with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Cheer for the kid in the coat May 26 through June 7 at the Benedum Center in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

This colorful retelling of the story of Joseph, his coat of many colors and his amazing ability to interpret dreams is a musicAl Blockbuster of Biblical proportions. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's award-winning musical parable features a delightful array of musical styles, from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll, entertaining young and old alike with such hits as "Go Go Go Joseph," "Close Every Door" and "Any Dream Will Do."

David Osmond (Joseph) returns to Pittsburgh CLO, reprising the role he performed in Pittsburgh CLO's 1998 production. He most recently advanced to the "Hollywood Round" of "American Idol." Mr. Osmond and his brothers played to sold-out stadiums and arenas worldwide in the 1980s and 90s. He later became his Uncle Donny's understudy in Joseph during various North American National Tours of the musical that ran from 1992 through 1997. He then continued as Joseph in a National Touring Company of the musical, produced by Pittsburgh CLO.

Shoshana Bean (Narrator) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut. She has previously starred in the Broadway productions of Wicked and Hairspray and the National Tours of Wicked and Leader of the Pack. Ms. Bean has been a back-up singer for superstars such as Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Usher, 'N Sync, Ray Charles, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

Peter Matthew Smith (Pharaoh/Levi) also makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut. A Point Park alumnus, he has performed on Broadway in Cry Baby, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Rent and Mamma Mia. He will be recognizable to local audiences thanks to his numerous Pittsburgh Musical Theater and Point Park University Playhouse credits.

Gene Seracini (Jacob/Potiphar/Guru) is a veteran of 22 Pittsburgh CLO productions, including West Side Story in 2008. He has performed locally for Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre and City Theatre. He toured North America in Shakespearean repertory and is Professor Emeritus of Theatre after a 37-year academic career at Seton Hill University.

This production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat also features 75 current students at Pittsburgh CLO Academy in the children's choir.

Richard Stafford (Director/Choreographer) returns to Pittsburgh CLO having choreographed Mame in 2008. He also directed and choreographed Cats in 2007. His Broadway credits include choreographing In My Life (Music Box Theatre), serving as associate choreographer for Aspects of Love (Broadhurst Theatre) and dance supervisor for Cats (Winter Garden Theatre). Mr. Stafford won the Barrymore Award for outstanding choreography for La Cage Aux Folles at the Walnut Street Theatre.

Craig Barna (Music Director) has conducted on Broadway, in Los Angeles and for prominent regional theaters across the country. Mr. Barna was last seen at Pittsburgh CLO in 2008 as the music director for Peter Pan and Smokey Joe's Café. He conducted the National Tours of Grease, Singin' in the Rain and Cats, and touring and Broadway companies of Jesus Christ Superstar and Peter Pan. Other career highlights include TV appearances on the "Today Show", "CBS This Morning" and the 1999 Tony® Awards.

In the summer of 1967, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his friend Tim Rice began writing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The first performance was held on March 1, 1968, in England, lasting just 15 minutes. It was such a success that a second performance was arranged two months later, when critic Derek Jewell of The Sunday Times saw the show and wrote a favorable review.

After securing additional financial backing so they could continue to write, Lloyd Webber and Rice began work on several projects, including Jesus Christ Superstar.

The success of Jesus Christ Superstar enabled Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to continue to grow.

The first amateur production in America was in May 1970 at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglastown, New York. Huge interest followed from colleges and schools and after various professional productions, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat finally hit Broadway on January 27, 1982, starting a run of 749 performances at the Royale Theatre.

The show was restaged in 1991 at the London Palladium, where it first incorporated the children's choir as an intergral part of the production, and later enjoyed a North American Tour with Donny Osmond in the title role from 1992 through 1997. The production has played worldwide during the past two decades, highlighted by a return to Broadway in 1993 and revivals on London's West End in 1991, 2003 and in 2007 - when the current production premiered.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber (Composer/Producer) is the composer of The Likes of Us, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, By Jeeves, Evita, Variations and Tell Me On A Sunday (two works that were later combined as Song & Dance), Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game and The Woman in White. In 2004, he produced a film version of "The Phantom of the Opera" and in 2009 he will premiere Love Never Dies, his sequel to Phantom. In 2006, he oversaw a new production of Evita in London, a unique version of The Phantom of the Opera in Las Vegas and pioneered casting for musical theater via TV with the hit BBC series "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?," which searched for a Maria in the London revival of The Sound of Music. He repeated his success with Any Dream Will Do, which cast the lead role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for the current West End production. Knighted Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1992, his awards include seven Tonys®, three Grammys®, a Golden Globe®, an Oscar®, two International Emmys®, the Kennedy Center Honor and The Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater presented by Pittsburgh CLO.

Tim Rice (Lyrics) began songwriting in 1965, the same year he met songwriter Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musical ambitions were in theater rather than rock or pop. They teamed up and wrote four musicals together from 1965 to 1978, including The Likes of Us (1965-66), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1969-71) and Evita (1976-78). Mr. Rice then went on to write Blondel (1983) and Chess (1986) in collaboration with Abba's Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. In the 1990s, he worked primarily with Disney, contributing lyrics to the films "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" and to the stage productions of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aida. He is currently reworking an operatic musical he has written with Alan Menken titled King David, and on new treatments, for both stage and screen, of Chess.

Tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat start at just $18.50 and are available online at, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more may call 412-325-1582. Half-price tickets sponsored by Giant Eagle are available for children ages 3-14 for select performances in the second tier, including the 8 p.m. showings on May 27, May 28, June 2 and June 3, as well as the 1 p.m. matinee on May 28.


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