I have twice had the privilege of having one of my sons in the “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” musical. My middle son Mark, as part of a North Vancouver Choir, was in the Livent Production at the Ford Theatre in downtown Vancouver. My youngest son Andrew played Zebulun in a Joseph production at the Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam. It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. I want to commend all the young people (and not so young) in ‘Joseph’ for the excellent job that they did, pouring their hearts and souls into a high-quality performance. It was exciting to see my son Andrew shine with life and vitality as he experienced the joy of working together on a high-quality community theatre team.
‘Joseph’ is one of those musicals that never seems to wear out, probably because of its theme of biblical proportions! It was so much fun! Perhaps the most colorful musical ever! I especially loved that amazing coat: it was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and all those other 57 amazing colours.
The Joseph musical variety was remarkable: country (One More Angel in Heaven), French-bistro (Those Canaan Days), Disco-rock (Go, Go, Go Joseph), Calypso (Benjamin), and even Elvis (Song of the King). Weeks later, these catchy songs kept running through my head when I was waking up or going to sleep.
The Joseph musical began in 1968 as a 20-minute “pop cantata” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for a school Easter concert in the UK. Derek Jewell, then the jazz and pop critic for the SUNDAY TIMES, unexpectedly gave the Joseph Musical national exposure when he wrote: “Throughout its twenty-minute duration it bristles with wonderfully singable tunes. It entertains. It communicates instantly, as all good pop should. And it is a considerable piece of barrier-breaking by its creators.”
Tim Rice’s favorite Bible story had long been Joseph and his coat of many colors. Speaking of the Genesis 39 Joseph story, Tim Rice commented: “This great tale has everything — plausible, sympathetic characters, a flawed hero, and redeemed villains … It is a story of triumph against the odds, of love and hate, of forgiveness and optimism. As with all great stories, the teller has no need to spell out the messages if he tells the tale well…”
Five years later, Joseph was expanded to 40 minutes in London, and then to 90 minutes in New York. After Andrew Lloyd Webber’s huge success with Jesus Christ Superstar, his Joseph musical finally hit Broadway in 1982, where it became one of the most enduring and endearing shows of all time.
With tens of millions of people having seen Joseph worldwide, the Joseph musical now has a place in The Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest running touring musical.
As well as twelve different professional casts in its thirty-one year history, Joseph has been performed in 15,000 schools or local theatres, involving over 500,000 performers of all ages. Nowadays there are nearly 500 school or amateur productions each year in the UK, and over 750 in the US & Canada.
The song that touched me the deepest in Joseph was “Close Every Door To Me”. Joseph poignantly sings: “Close every door to me, Keep those I love from me. Children of Israel are never alone, for I know I shall find my own peace of mind, for I have been promised a land of my own.” This song both faced the depths of Joseph’s despair in prison, and yet clung steadfastly to God’s promises of hope. Joseph never gave up on his dreams, and neither should we.
Even after betrayal again and again by his brothers and others, Joseph saw the big picture, and at the end extended forgiveness to his jealous brothers. “You meant it for evil”, he said to them, “but God meant it for good.” All things really do work for good for those who love the Lord. May you, like Joseph, discover His goodness today.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-previously published in the North Shore News/Deep Cove Crier
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.