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The Ziegfeld Theater, just off the corner of 40th Street and Washington Boulevard, has revamped and revitalized the classic musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” While the production staff has left many classic elements of the show alone, many elements have been altered in order to entertain the audience’s imagination.
“Joseph” includes a children’s choir, framing the story of Joseph as a twice-told tale, with the narrator relaying the story of Joseph in Egypt from the Old Testament to the children’s chorus. Heidi Hunt, the music director for the Ziegfeld production of “Joseph,” said that working with the children’s chorus was one of her favorite parts of this musical.
“(The children’s chorus) didn’t join the cast until tech week,” she said. “The best thing about the kids is that I can see them up there looking for me and I know that they are trying so hard to do everything I’ve asked them to do, and they are just so cute doing it.”
According to director Sarah Knowles-Baldwin, an element that makes this production of “Joseph” stand apart from the rest is the fact that every cast member has his or her individual moment to shine.
“After I listened to the music, I decided that I wanted to take how they have so many different genres and time periods and just run with it,” she said. “So I thought, ‘Let’s make it like vaudeville’. In vaudeville, everyone has a talent, everyone gets their time in the limelight. And that’s what I wanted for my cast members. Everyone gets some sort of feature. They each have their special part. There is no one who is just ‘in’ the show.”
Another unique element to the Ziegfeld’s interpretation of “Joseph” is the choreography in the number “Those Canaan Days,” sung in a French style. The Ziegfeld’s rendition of the song takes the usual small cigarettes, red wine and berets to the next level.
Jason Baldwin, who plays Joseph and is married to the director, said choreographer and Weber State University student Kacee Neff was astonishing in her choreography for “Joseph,” especially in “Those Canaan Days.”
“She outdid herself, especially on that number,” he said.
Knowles-Baldwin said she also thoroughly enjoyed the choreography in “Those Canaan Days.”
“Usually, there’s a woman who comes in and does a tango in ‘Those Canaan Days’. When my choreographer asked if I wanted our dancer to come into this number, I said, ‘No, let the brothers dance with their chairs.’ They embraced the choreography and ran with it.”
The production will run through Sept. 28 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets are $12–$15.