The Man In the Dreamcoat: Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to Stephens Auditorium

Joseph receives his dreamcoat in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” in Stephens Auditorium on April 5.

Maggie Curry

Go, Go, Go Joseph! Tickets are on sale now for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” coming to Stephens Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. April 5. This is the last show in the 2015-16 Broadway Series in C.Y. Stephens. 

Tickets for the show are priced by section: $25, $39, $52, $65 and $70; youth and ISU student tickets cost $28. 

Tickets can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Iowa State Center Ticket Office, located at the north entrance of Stephens Auditorium; at all Ticketmaster centers; by phone: 1-800-745-3000 or online via Ticketmaster. 

JC McCann, who plays Joseph in the touring production, shared some insights into the man wearing the coat. “Joseph,” written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, is based on a biblical story.

In the story, dreamer Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers but ends up in the position to save Egypt from years of famine.

McCann said he felt there were plenty of parallels between Joseph’s story and his own life. For both men, the dreams of their youth were seen as unrealistic. McCann wanted to be an actor, but in Wyoming a Broadway career can seem too far away. For Joseph, his dreams had him in charge of his older brothers.

For both men, life got in the way of those dreams. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. In McCann’s case, it was the pressure to be realistic about his future. 

“The world kind of puts you down,” McCann said. “Eventually I was living the 9 to 5 life. I was doing good things with my life, but I just felt like there was something more.”

Growing up, McCann enjoyed theater. His small Wyoming town had a strong theater community, and he “caught the theater bug” as a high school freshman doing a production of “Les Miserables.”

“I remember feeling the connection we made with the audience and I just went, you know, ‘there’s magic here, there’s something here I want to be a part of,’” McCann said. “I’ve always sought that feeling and connection since then.”

McCann moved to New York and went through auditions. He was set to join a production in Colorado when the call came about “Joseph.”

“They said they were going to offer me the role of Joseph,” McCann said. “I was waiting for something to come after it like ‘Joseph understudy,’ or ‘Joseph something-else’. So I said, ‘you mean Joseph, the guy in the title of the show?’”

Joseph’s relationship with his brothers was tense because Joseph was the favorite son, but they later regret selling him into slavery. McCann and his brother do not have such a drastic story, but their relationship is still an important part of his life.

“Me and my brother are very close, like best friends. We always have been,” McCann said. “I was at his place and I got the call [about Joseph]. My brother was right there, [and] we got to share that experience.”

“It’s been really cool — as I’m living the story of Joseph it’s my dream come true as well. It’s quite a change in life from working in the oil field to moving to New York City to ‘OK, I’m going on tour.’” 

That change in life came quickly, starting with a two-week rehearsal process.

“We went from sun-up to sun-down learning these songs and the choreography, and you throw it all together, and you throw your life in two suitcases and you hit the road,” McCann said.

“Joseph” has been around for quite awhile, but this tour brings new songs and hip-hop-inspired choreography from Andy Blankenbuehler, who choreographed “Hamilton” and won a Tony for “In the Heights.”

“There’s a million things going on up on that stage,” McCann said. “It’s really fun to watch. You could watch the show four or five times and you would see different things every time.”

If McCann wasn’t living out his dream as Joseph, he admitted Pharaoh was an easy choice for the part he’d want.

“[The pharaoh] has this show-stopping Elvis tribute [and] they have a blast in that song,” McCann said.

Webber’s music for the show includes almost every genre. Each time the brothers appear onstage, they sing in a different style. The one most people remember is “Canaan Days,” with the brothers singing in a French style. 

“Andy has really revamped that song. People always love it, [and] it’s so funny to see the brothers so depleted singing this French song together,” McCann said. “I don’t want to spoil anything but we’ve added a little something. There’s a dinner scene and they don’t have any food. It’s really funny and most nights the narrator has to tell the audience off because they’re laughing so hard.”

In between the diverse music, amazing choreography, projections and flying actors, the message of Joseph is still true to the original. 

“What I love about the show is it has this overall message of hope. I think that’s why it’s a persevering show,” McCann said.

For more information on the performance, visit the Iowa State Center’s Web Page for the show, like Stephens Auditorium on Facebook or follow on Twitter.