It’s the day after Christmas: New toys to play with, leftover Chinese food, the beginning of a weeklong vacation for the kids, and a week off work for some lucky adults. This is also the week that Middlesex County’s Plays in the Park (PIP) are moving indoors to the State Theatre in New Brunswick for what is now a holiday tradition – a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” . “Joseph”, a colorful and fun show, is not only a tradition for the PIP but also for us. J.O.Y (not his real initials) and I meet with the family of his best friend since pre-school for an evening of musical fun. We get tickets together for the grownups and younger kids and two tickets in another part of the theatre for the almost teen-agers J.O.Y and E.T.L. The boys love it – they get to sit together, apart from the parents. They sing along with the actors, they know what to expect, and laugh at the jokes, some that change from year to year. They text us as soon as the lights come on for intermission “meet you at the lobby” as if there could be another meeting place.
The story of Joseph, Jacob’s beloved son, based on the biblical story, is told in singing, with different modern day additions (I don’t recall a flight to Egypt in the original Genesis version), jokes and great dancing. The musical, written by the team on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was first performed in the US in 1970. PIP at the state theatre has done it now for 17 years! You can tell that the actors/dancers/singers on stage are enjoying themselves as much as the audience. Reading “who’s who in the cast” proves that they like what they are doing, many return to be part of “Joseph”, some are in the show for the twelfth time! So if you are looking for something fun to do with the family, and stay close to home – go see “Joseph”. Tickets are only $7 each. We will be back to see Joseph in his technicolor coat, his brothers, Pharaoh and the others in December 2012.