Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens tonight at the Granada. This is a national touring production from Theater League that has been rehearsing here in Santa Barbara. I spoke with director Vince Pesce about the show and the process.
How has the preparation been for this production?
There have been two rehearsal processes, one in New York where we cast the leads, and another here in Santa Barbara, at the Granada. This is where the sets and costumes were assembled, and this is where the full cast is being rehearsed for the first time, including the 12 Santa Barbara children who will appear in five sections of the show.
Can you tell me what your approach is to the material?
I have a lot of experience directing and choreographing more traditional musicals, but for Joseph I have approached things a little differently. Because the piece is sung through and has no dialogue, it’s like two big musical numbers of 40 minutes each. I have also directed several main-stage shows for Disney, and I have drawn on that revue experience to create this. It can never subside into just a song or just a dance-the plot should be carried forward by every movement.
Are you making any changes to the flow of the two-act structure?
Yes, I moved the Pharoah’s story from the end of the first to the beginning of the second act. There’s a tendency that I wanted to avoid to let the narrator run away with the show. It should be about Joseph, and I think this change helps keep the focus on him.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays February 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, February 28 at 2 and 8 p.m. For tickets and information call 899-2222 or visit granadasb.org.