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Oguquit Press Release

Clay Aiken to Star in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoatat the Ogunquit Playhouse

Clay Aiken to Star in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoatat the Ogunquit Playhouse

For Immediate Release:

July 12, 2013

The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce that multi-platinum recording artist, American Idol and Broadway starClay Aiken will portray Joseph in the upcoming production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on stage July 31 through August 25.

Clay Aiken became a household name while appearing on the second season of American Idol, turning millions of viewers into instant fans. Following American Idol, his debut album Measure of a Man skyrocketed to multi-platinum status. Mr. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and released several albums including, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways and On My Way Here, all of which debuted in the top five on the Billboard chart. Mr. Aiken starred in a televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and a live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live! He has appeared on many popular television shows including Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, Scrubs, 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live. A frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he recently competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Aiken garnered broad critical acclaim for his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning production of Spamalot in 2008 and 2009.

In addition to his entertainment ventures, Mr. Aiken supports a number of charities. He was made a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004 and has traveled the world to promote education for children affected by natural disasters or political unrest. He founded the National Inclusion Project, a nationally recognized project to bridge the gap between children with disabilities and the world around them. Clay also lends his support to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and spoke on behalf of anti-bullying legislation in front of a Congressional Committee in 2010.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat brings the Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors to vibrant life in a delightful musical parable. The musical is set to cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso, to bubble-gum pop and rock ‘n’ roll that includes the popular songs “Go, Go, Go Joseph” and “Any Dream Will Do.” The Ogunquit Playhouse production will be directed and choreographed by Ogunquit Playhouse Associate Producer Jayme McDaniel.

Single ticket prices range from $39 to $78 per show. For tickets call the Box Office at 207-646-5511 or online at OgunquitPlayhouse.org.

Following Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is Ballroom with a Twist, back by popular demand for one week only, August 27 to August 31. West Side Story, on stage from September 4 to September 28, soars as the greatest love story of all time and remains as powerful and timely as ever.Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story returns by popular demand to close the season from October 2 to October 20!

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Maine Sunday Telegram

Clay Aiken's Not Just Any Joe

Posted:Today

Updated: 12:11 AM

Clay Aiken's not just any Joe

Instead of 'Idol'-ing along, the pop star rises to the challenges of theater in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

By Bob Keyesbkeyes@mainetoday.com

Staff Writer

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Clay Aiken says he likes “working with a group of peers” in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Ogunquit Playhouse.

Courtesy photos portland-press-herald_3774254.jpg

Aiken says it’s easier to perform in pop concerts than to “morph into” a character on stage.

"JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT"

WHEN: Previews at 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Opens at 8 p.m. Thursday and continues through Aug. 25.

WHERE: Ogunquit Playhouse, 10 Main St.

HOW MUCH: $39 to $78

INFO: 646-5511; ogunquitplayhouse.org

Clay Aiken is not afraid of acting, and the whole world knows singing comes naturally to one of the most popular stars to ever emerge from the "American Idol" TV show.

But dancing? No way.

He's as clumsy as can be, he says.

"I like this role because it doesn't make me dance," he said with a laugh by phone last week from New York, where he and the rest of the cast of the Ogunquit Playhouse production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" were rehearsing.

"Rehearsals are going quite well," he added. "Right now, I'm standing here looking in the window (of the rehearsal room) while they're learning their difficult dance moves that I don't have to do."

Aiken, 34, plays the title role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical, which opens Wednesday and runs through Aug. 31.

He said he chose to do the show because he knew the reputation of the Ogunquit Playhouse, and is interested in doing more theater.

"Ogunquit is a storied and respected theater throughout the country, even in Manhattan, but really throughout the theater world. The opportunity to do a show like this in a place that is so well-respected was hard to turn down," he said.

"Joseph" marks the third time Aiken has worked in theater. He made his theatrical debut in a big way, with two stints as Sir Robin in "Spamalot" on Broadway in 2008. Later, he kept a longtime promise to his hometown theater in Raleigh, N.C., by returning there to sing in "The Drowsy Chaperone."

He's looking forward to playing Joseph.

"This is a show that I have known for years," he said. "I grew up as a teenager listening to this music. I remember listening to it on a CD Walkman, so there's a little history for me with it."

"Joseph" is very much a family-friendly show. Webber and lyricist Rice used the biblical story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis for their musical, which tells of the coat of many colors. It's sung almost all the way through, with little dialogue. Two of the best-known songs from the show are "Go, Go, Go Joseph" and "Any Dream Will Do."

Despite being written in the late 1960s, "Joseph" didn't open on Broadway until 1982, though it had appeared on stage in London's West End a decade earlier.

Since then, thanks largely to a string of performances by Donny Osmond, it has become one of most loved musicals in contemporary theater, in part because it features so many musical styles. Webber and Rice wrote pop songs, rock songs, country songs and island music for the show.

Which makes it a perfect vehicle for Aiken, said director Jayme McDaniel.

"I was certainly familiar with his voice before we started the process, but now, listening to it every day, I hear how he's been influenced by so many styles. The remarkable thing about his singing is how it appears so effortless," McDaniel said.

"He just sings higher and higher, and you never question just how high it can go. It's not like any 'Joseph' that we have heard before."

LAUNCHED ON TV

Aiken became part of America's pop-culture consciousness in 2003 when he finished second on the second season of "American Idol." But that second-place finish was questioned right away, because Aiken was widely considered the popular choice.

Since then, he has released a series of popular CDs, toured extensively and written a book. He's also done TV talk shows and appeared in various sitcoms.

Theater is a logical extension of his creative talent, he said.

"I think the biggest difference, when you are doing a pop concert, you get to interact with the audience. When you do a theatrical production, you don't get to acknowledge the audience at all," he said. "Not being able to do that, it always takes me back a bit."

But Aiken loves theater, and appreciates what it takes to build a great show.

He's been working hard in rehearsals, said Ogunquit executive artistic director Bradford Kenney, who visited Aiken in New York when rehearsals began.

"I found him to be a warm, well-rounded and talented person," Kenney said. "The character of Joseph needs a fresh, appealing centerpiece.

"Vocally, he needs to be an outstanding pop performer who can handle Andrew Lloyd Webber's best songs in a first-rate and interpretative fashion. The character is a white sheep in a family of black sheep brothers. You need warmth to pull it off, and Clay has that. We just found him to be very down to earth and genuine."

BRINGING IN STAR POWER

It doesn't hurt that Aiken has star power, which translates into ticket sales. But he also has the respect of his peers, Kenney said.

Since Aiken committed to "Joseph," Ogunquit was able to recruit actress Keala Settle to play the Narrator role.

Settle received a Tony Award nomination this year for best performance by a featured actress for her performance in "Hands on a Hardbody." (She lost to Portland native Andrea Martin, who won for her role in "Pippin.")

Settle has also received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, and won the Theater World Award. In addition to her work on Broadway, she has performed in the national tours of "Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert," "South Pacific" and "Hairspray."

"She's the hottest actress on Broadway right now, and she chose to come to Ogunquit because Clay is playing Joseph," Kenney said.

Aiken said he's comfortable singing the title role, but it's not something he can do just because he knows the music from his youth. It's a difficult role, because some of the songs are out of his range. He and director McDaniel have adjusted the songs to better suit his vocal abilities, he said.

He also has to tackle the trepidation of stepping outside his comfort zone. Doing a concert is relatively easy compared to doing theater, he said, but the reward of theater makes the effort worthwhile.

"I never assumed I would enjoy this type of thing," he said. "But after doing it, I really appreciated the ensemble effort and the camaraderie of a production, with everybody having the same goal of entertaining people.

"I enjoy the pop world too, but I really like working with a group of peers. You do not have co-workers in the pop world. Everybody works for you. I really appreciate having peers."

'A BREAK FROM MYSELF'

His peers appreciate him too. McDaniel said Aiken has not received special treatment because of his star status. The cast, who are members of the Actors Equity union, voted him their deputy to serve as a go-between for the cast and management.

It's unusual for an actor with celebrity status to take on that role, and it speaks to the cast members' fondness for, and trust in, Aiken, McDaniel said.

Aiken appreciates not having to live up to the expectations that come with his personality. He's a very popular singer, and that's something he's grown comfortable with. But it's taken some time.

For many years, he denied that he was gay, or at least declined to acknowledge it. He eventually did, on the cover of People magazine. But it took time for him to open up and give fans something they wanted beyond the music.

"At a pop concert, you have to learn to be comfortable enough with yourself to interact with people and take certain liberties with people to let them know you are enjoying yourself," he said. "When you are doing something like this, you have to become comfortable with the character and disavow yourself from your personal issues.

"You have to be that person on stage. You have to morph into your character."

He enjoys that morphing process, and thinks he will like becoming Joseph, even if only for a short amount of time each night.

"I'm only the other person for an hour and a half," he said. "I wish I could take more of a break from myself."

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

bkeyes@pressherald.com

Twitter: pphbkeyes

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broadwayworld.com

Photo Flash: First Look at Clay Aiken and More in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Ogunquit

Friday, August 2, 2013; 06:08 PM - by BWW News Desk

The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce that multi-platinum recording artist, American Idol and Broadway star Clay Aiken will portray Joseph in the upcoming production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on stage July 31 through August 25. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the production below!

Clay Aiken became a household name while appearing on the second season of American Idol, turning millions of viewers into instant fans. Following American Idol, his debut album Measure of a Manskyrocketed to multi-platinum status. Mr. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and released several albums including, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways and On My Way Here, all of which debuted in the top five on the Billboard chart. Mr. AiKen Starred in a televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and a live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live! He has appeared on many popular television shows including Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, Scrubs,30 Rock and Saturday Night Live. A frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show andJimmy Kimmel Live!, he recently competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Aiken garnered broad critical acclaim for his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning production of Spamalot in 2008 and 2009.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat brings the Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors to vibrant life in a delightful musical parable. The musical is set to cornucopia of musical styles, from country-western and calypso, to bubble-gum pop and rock 'n' roll that includes the popular songs "Go, Go, Go Joseph" and "Any Dream Will Do." The Ogunquit Playhouse production will be directed and choreographed by Ogunquit Playhouse Associate Producer Jayme McDaniel.

Single ticket prices range from $39 to $78 per show. For tickets call the Box Office at 207-646-5511 or online at OgunquitPlayhouse.org.

Read more about Photo Flash: First Look at Clay Aiken and More in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Ogunquit by broadwayworld.com

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gayogunquit.com

REVIEW: Clay Aiken & Keala Settle's Dreamcoat is a DREAM Come True

REVIEW:Clay Aiken & Keala Settle's Dreamcoat is a DREAM Come True

Ogunquit Playhouse

August

You Loved Him On American Idol

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Now you can love him in Technicolor as Joseph!

Clay Aiken became a household name while appearing on the second season of American Idol, turning millions of viewers into instant fans. Following American Idol, his debut album Measure of a Manskyrocketed to multi-platinum status. Mr. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and released several albums including, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways and On My Way Here, all of which debuted in the top five on the Billboard chart. Mr. Aiken starred in a televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas and a live concert special in 2010 on PBS Tried & True Live! He has appeared on many popular television shows including Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, Scrubs, 30 Rock andSaturday Night Live. A frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he recently competed in the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Mr. Aiken garnered broad critical acclaim for his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award winning production of Spamalot in 2008 and 2009.

Read Jason's Review!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Or the Bible goes Disco)

A Review by Jason Pendergast

As summer in Ogunquit hits high season, so does the camp factor at the Playhouse. I would have thought cornball productions like “The Rat Pack” or “Young Frankenstein” would have won the title. Little did I know that the winner (so far) is a play based on--- a Bible story! “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens this week and based on the enthusiasm I saw on Thursday nights, fans of this camp classic (and its American Idol star, Clay Aiken) are ecstatic.

Now, it is has been many years since this Gayogunquit reviewer has been to Sunday School so my memory of the tale of Joseph is a bit hazy. Set many, many years before the birth of Christ, this play (narrated by vocal talents of Keala Settle) tells the story of Jacob, a powerful (and apparently polygamous) leader of Israel, who has (at least) 12 sons. One of them, the studious, sensitive Joseph (Clay Aiken) is his obvious favorite. This does not sit well with the other 11 and when daddy Jacob gives his #1 son a rather flamboyant, gay pride looking trench coat, they plot a “Cain and Able” on him.

Stripped of his beloved coat and sent off as a slave, Joseph uses his psychic (and vocal) abilities to impress person after person he comes in contact with. His talents are soon noticed by businessmen and royalty alike, and Joseph becomes a high advisor to the Pharaoh after he is able to decipher his highness’s dreams. (This rock and roll Elvis number is one of the highlights of the show- Matthew Ragas really nails his Vegas-style Presley!) Thanks to Joseph, Egypt is saved from famine and he is given a royal title….just in time for his brothers to come begging for help...

As said before, this take on a Bible story can’t be taken seriously (even animal lovers will laugh aloud during the “death” of the goat/sheep prop!). The cast is clearly enjoying themselves. Aiken plays the role as a subdued, sensitive soul and comes across as very likable. The “evil” brothers add enough goof ball charm to want us to see them be acquitted of their crimes. (Nicholas Ward had the audience whipped up into a frenzy with his Benjamin Calypso number.) The song and dance numbers also give the show a real feel-good charm that helps us forget the serious nature of the source material. Also, the costumes look like something Elton John would have designed after an all night LSD bender- in other words, the laughs are fast and furious. Think what would have happened if ABBA and Charlton Heston’s Moses had a love child and that should sum up this light, feel good romp!

“Joseph” is playing now through August 25th. For tickets and show times, check out Ogunquitplayhouse.org or call 207-646-5511.

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Maine Sunday Telegram

Review: Ogunquit Playhouse's 'Joseph' a crowd-pleaser

Review: Ogunquit Playhouse's 'Joseph' a crowd-pleaser

By STEVE FEENEY

Styles often change, but one particular coat has a record of staying fashionable, even in thewarmer months. The outerwear in question here is an important prop in an early work by thelegendary team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

.

THEATER REVIEW

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

WHERE: Ogunquit Playhouse, 10 Main St. (Rt. 1)

DATE REVIEWED: Aug. 4; continues through Aug. 25

TICKETS: $39 to $78

CONTACT: 646-5511;

ogunquitplayhouse.org

"Joseph and the Amazing TechnicolorDreamcoat" emerged on the world's stages in the wake of the creative duo's later success with "Jesus Christ Superstar." Expanded and revised along the way, "Joseph" has become a favorite for theater companies and theatergoers at every level.

Over the years, pop idols like David Cassidyand Donny Osmond have signed on to thecast to bring the show home to mass audiences as well as add another stage appearance to their careers. Now, theOgunquit Playhouse has landed former "American Idol" sensation Clay Aiken, who has some Broadway experience, to add star power for its production of the show.

Aiken does fine by his title role, but the show owes its strength equally to a sterling cast that gets to loosen up and fly high in some of the very entertaining set pieces and ensemble numbers. All in all, this "Dreamcoat" fits well without need of major alterations. It's a show that anyone with an ear and an eye for top-quality song and dance will enjoy.

Aiken generally adds a low-key demeanor to his role as the biblical dreamer who believes he is destined for greatness. At Sunday's matinee, his big numbers were delivered in a singing voice with range enough to connect on both those somber moments ("Close Every Door")and the inspiring ones ("Any Dream Will Do"). Even when he was being tough ("Who's theThief?"), he stayed within his character's gentle strength to get at the show's fundamental message of perseverance and forgiveness.

Broadway powerhouse Keala Settle gained applause for several songs sung in the role of thestory's Narrator. Easily reaching the back of the hall and perhaps all the way to downtown Ogunquit with her soaring voice, she was a dynamic presence throughout.

Numbers that mixed various genres and eras of music and dance were what will likely be most memorable about this production.

An early "Hoedown" piece was a hoot, with the men playing Joseph's wayward brothers singing and dancing up a strorm. Later, an appearance from the Pharoah (Matthew Ragas) evolved into an Elvis impersonation that had everyone cracking up.

Craig Laurie and Nicholas Ward stood out in hilarious numbers inspired, respectively, by French balladry and Carribean calypso. These and other numbers were ensemble as well as individual gems for which director and choreographer Jayme McDaniel deserves much credit.

The only negative might be an unnecessary "Megamix" tacked on at the end that briefly reprises most of the show's big numbers as if the next stop was Las Vegas. Notwithstanding this quibble, if you've never seen this show or have only seen community or high school productions in the past, it is well worth it to make a trip down to Ogunquit to see how well the pros do it.

Steve Feeney is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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fosters.com

Playhouse's Joseph Lots of Fun

Playhouse’s ‘Joseph’ lots of fun

By Jeremiah Turner

jturner@fosters.com

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

OGUNQUIT, Maine – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Ogunquit Playhouse adds more than just a classy night out to this summer’s offerings on the Maine coast.

It’s simply a lot of fun.

Joseph is played by Clay Aiken of American Idol fame among other accomplishments. Broadway’s Keala Settle is the Narrator.

Their big talents combine with an energetic cast of professional actors and local children in a musical romp through the classic biblical tale of Joseph and his jealous brothers.

The story and its lessons for life are well known. What has endeared thousands of theatregoers to this version is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s re-telling of it in song and dance with a modern twist.

The Ogunquit performance lived up to their talented vision and then some.

If the costumes and dance numbers don’t make you wish intermission did not arrive so soon, you’ve spent too much time on the beach that day.

What makes this production so delightful are the humorous revisions of other famous shows’ tunes to fit Joseph’s story.

From country to reggae, the French Revolution to Elvis, no worthy theatrical material or musical number is above being used in a surprise way in this fast-moving production.

Aiken and especially Settle are powerful vocal anchors. Joseph’s 11 brothers are really, really good in song and dance numbers infectiously entertaining. Their often multiple appearances in other roles add to the fun.

Bill Nolte, as Jacob, and Matthew Ragas, as Pharaoh, provide further depth. Add in the enthusiastic kids selected in local casting calls and it is a winning cast.

As the action rolls from scene to scene, you will be disappointed when the show is over.

The Ogunquit version of “Joseph” is a credit to Playhouse Associate Producer Jayme McDaniel, who is the director and choreographer. What’s accomplished on a small stage is impressive.

If you love theatre, music and fun in the summertime grab some tickets and come see this show. You’ll leave smiling.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on stage through Aug. 25 and is part of The Ogunquit Playhouse’s ambitious schedule this season.

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seacoastonline.com

Clay Aiken, Masters at Play in "Joseph" at Ogunquit Playhouse

Clay Aiken, masters at play in 'Joseph' at Ogunquit PlayhouseTHEATER REVIEW

By Samantha Stephens

yccs@seacoastonline.com

August 07, 2013 2:00 AM

The most "amazing" part of Joseph's story just may be the musical's narrator, played by Tony-nominated actress Keala Settle, who introduces the show and offers continuity, often-needed plot descriptors, and brings the audience from Ogunquit to "way, way back, many centuries ago."

Although "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is set "not long after the Bible began" in Cannan and Egypt, only Joseph, his brothers, and a handful of other characters are dressed in attire to match the story's setting. Members of the ensemble travel through the ages, donning everything from a 1960s psychedelic costumes for the first act's closing number to brightly colored modern clothing worn by the children who appear for many of the songs.

Settle, who wears a sparkling black blazer with a shimmering silver blouse and trousers, falls somewhere between the 1960s and modern times, but her charm, quirky character traits (including on-stage drinking during "Benjamin Calypso") and perfectly matched on-stage chemistry with Clay Aiken, who plays the title role of Joseph, allow the audience to trust her narration of the famous Biblical story.

From the moment Aiken, who started his career after taking second place in season two of "American Idol," walked on stage in a recent performance, the audience was astonished. Many leaned forward, some clapped and others gasped as Aiken sang his first solo in the prologue surrounded by children who joined in with accompanying "oohs" and "ahhs." The true highlight of Aiken's performance was in a quiet number, "Close Every Door," which Joseph sings from his jail cell. The haunting melody and Aiken's strong vocals reflected his famous and celebrated cover of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire."

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" tells the story of Joseph, the most beloved son to Jacob, who receives a "coat of many colors" from his father, much to the dismay of his jealous brothers. In an act of retaliation and jealousy, Joseph's 11 brothers decide to sell him as a slave. To cover their crime, they strip Joseph of his coat and destroy it, bathing it in sheep's blood and creating a lie about Joseph's death.

After a rough time in Egypt, a city modeled in the musical to reflect modern-day Las Vegas with flashy costumes, women dressed as Egyptian showgirls, and the motto "what happens here, stays here," rumor of Joseph's psychic abilities grows and eventually he becomes an advisor to the Pharaoh, an eccentric character modeled after Elvis Presley, and saves Egypt from famine. Joseph's brothers appear at the end of the story — a twist that's predicted but still emotionally satisfying.

For audience members who are unfamiliar with Joseph's Biblical story, the musical was the first collaboration by Broadway and musical legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Presented as a 15-minute pop cantata, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" opened in the West End in 1973 and on Broadway in 1982. Since then, the show has played all over the globe, and in 1999 a straight-to-video film starring Donny Osmond was released.

Every musical number in the production has its own flair: reggae, 1950s rock 'n' roll and disco are all featured, but perhaps the best number is "Those Canaan Days," led by Craig Laurie who plays Reuben, one of Joseph's brothers. In his lamentation of missing the good days when food was plentiful and confessing to missing his brother, Laurie performs the parody on French ballads perfectly. His voice is impressive, which is exhibited by holding notes for an excessively long period, and his comedy is right-on as he name-drops "Les Miserables" and asks the question, "Voulez vous coucher avec moi?" while lamenting in French.

The charm of Rice and Webber's "Joseph" is a campy good time that will have audiences crying through Joseph's struggles and laughing with the cheek-in-tongue comedic moments. And with Aiken and Settle leading the strong ensemble cast, it's a must for anyone interested in seeing truly masterful performers at play.

Go&Do

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" plays through Aug. 25 at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Showtimes vary, and single ticket prices range from $39 to $78 per show. For tickets, call the box office at 646-5511 or visitwww.OgunquitPlayhouse.org.

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people.com

Clay Aiken Sports Long Hair in Vibrant Technicolor Dreamcoat Photo

Clay Aiken Sports Long Hair in Vibrant Technicolor Dreamcoat Photo

08/06/2013 at 12:05 PM EDT

ENLARGE

clay-aiken-300.jpg

Clay Aiken in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

JULIA RUSSELL

Clay Aiken is letting his colors show.

The former American Idol finalist, 34, could be mistaken for a walking rainbow in a photo released by the Ogunquit Playhouse, a local theater in Maine. The vibrant shot promotes Aiken's lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber'sJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat musical.

With wavy hair past his shoulders, a wide-eyed Aiken flashes a grin in the image.

"I like this role because it doesn't make me dance," he told the Portland Press Herald last month. "Rehearsals are going quite well. [Other cast members are] learning their difficult dance moves that I don't have to do."

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hollywoodreporter.com

Clay Aiken in Vibrant in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Clay Aiken Is Vibrant in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (Video)

10:32 AM PDT 8/7/2013 by Michele Amabile Angermiller

The season two "American Idol" runner-up and "Celebrity Apprentice" star is playing the lead role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical this month in Maine.

clay-aiken_joseph_coat_rgb.jpg

Julia Russell/Ogunquit Playhouse

Behold: Clay Aiken in Technicolor.

The 34-year-old American Idol alum is letting it all hang out in a rainbow of glory in this new photo released by the Ogunquit Playhouse [5], a theater in Maine where Aiken is currently starring in the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The season two alum, sporting a fabulous red wig and draped in a rainbow of colors rivaling

only the Gymboree parachute, has stepped into the role immortalized by former teen Idols David Cassidy and Donny Osmond through Aug. 25 at the playhouse.

"I like this role because it doesn't make me dance," he told the Portland Press Herald [6] last month. "Rehearsals are going quite well. [Other cast members are] learning their difficult dance moves that I don't have to do."

The biblical saga surrounds the adventures of Joseph, who is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and taken to Egypt.

Aiken has starred in theater in prior productions on Broadway. He played Sir Robin in Spamalot.

On a personal note, he has much to celebrate this week. His son, Parker Foster Aiken, will turn 5 Thursday.

Below is a video gallery of pictures from the show compiled by a fan. The clip includes audio of Aiken singing "This Is the Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde. The lead role in that show was portrayed by season four's Constantine Maroulis on Broadway this spring. Also check out Aiken in action meeting fans outside the stage door after the show.

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile [7], Idol_Worship [8]

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maine.broadwayworld.com

BWW Reviews: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is More Than 'Amazing' at The Ogunquit Playhouse

BWW Reviews: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is More Than 'Amazing' at The Ogunquit Playhouse

Back to the Article

by Scott Moreau

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Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's names have become synonymous with musical theatre. Even if you've never seen a musical on stage or don't care for the art form it's almost a definite that you have at least heard of their works: Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is yet another highlight of the pair's resume, and having been performed all over the world for nearly 30 years, it has become a beloved favorite of theatre goers. The Ogunquit Playhouse's new production of JOSEPH... will leave no doubt in your mind as to why this musical is so loved.

JOSEPH'S road to the stage is relatively atypical for most musicals. Originally, Webber and Rice wrote it as a 15 minute piece to be performed at the Colet Court School in London in the late 60's. After a few successful and critically acclaimed productions, the show just kept growing. Soon it became a 35 minute piece, and later in 1969 a concept album was produced. The first full scale production was staged in 1970, but it wasn't until 1973 that the show was presented in its full form in the West End. Nearly a decade later in 1982, JOSEPH premiered on Broadway. Over its storied history it has been performed worldwide in successful national tours, domestic and international companies, and became a straight to DVD sensation starring Donny Osmond in the title role.

The show is based on the story of JOSEPH'S "coat of many colors" from the book of Genesis in The Bible. It follows JOSEPH (Clay Aiken), his father Jacob (Bill Nolte), and JOSEPH'S 11 brothers: Reuben (Craig Laurie), Simeon (Casey Garvin), Levi (Alex Puette), Naphtali (Scott Difford), Issachar (Ken Arpino), Asher (Erik Magnus), Dan (Drew King), Zebulun (Nathan Chang), Gad (Andre Jordan), Benjamin (Kory Geller) and Judah (Nicholas Ward). Being Jacob's favorite son, JOSEPH is given a coat of many colors which causes his brothers to be jealous. They cast him into slavery, and well...that's basically the story! Along the way of course, JOSEPH meets a host of various characters including Potiphar (Bill Nolte, who also plays Jacob and the Baker), Mrs. Potiphar (sultry, long-legged dancer Anne Otto), The Butler (Craig Laurie), The Pharaoh (Matthew Ragas) as well Jacob's many wives (Tiana Checcia Jones, Anne Otto, Bridget Noltimier, Lizzy Palmer and Leigh Scheffler). Playing other various roles is the talented ensemble: Colby Kingston, Piper Kingston, Shae Kingston (yes, the three ladies are sisters), and Lauren Lukacek. Last, but my no means least is the Narrator (Keala Settle) who paints the story for us every step of the way.

Part of the brilliance of JOSEPH is Webber and Rice's choice to write several of the songs in very different musical styles. Not only does this add to the kitsch and comedy of the show, but it also allows for little love letters to a host of other shows and artists. From 20's style jazz to country and western to a very distinct tribute to Elvis Presley, the score's constant variance in theme keeps the audience engaged, and tells the story fully as there are very few lines of spoken dialogue.

What makes this production so different from other productions of JOSEPH is a clear, precise vision and it's execution in the hands of director/choreographer Jayme McDaniel. As the audience enters The Playhouse, they are greeted with fresh-faced youngsters on stage, playing with jump ropes, kick balls and storybooks (at the performance I attended the young performers were: Laila Adawadkar, Dylan Cao, Sophia Estes, Mary Grace Gilliland, Breckyn Ginchereau, Livia Ginchereau, Ali Golodner, Caroline Hall, Joseph Hall, Katherine Hall, Analise Marin, Lauren Marin, Haley Moody, Yamilah Saravong, Chloe Schechter, Isabella Schechter, Tristan Sullivan, Rosalie Toupin and Kimberly works. Starting on August 13th until closing the performers will be slightly different). The large ensemble of younger performers is used throughout the show, whether it be singing (beautifully, clearly and cleanly, I might add) or as the occasional passing farm animal (adorable children holding two dimensional sheep...I mean...c'mon....). Some directors would shy away from using such a large ensemble of youngsters, but because they are so well directed it works to Mr. McDaniel's advantage. His choreography is not only brilliant and appropriate to the piece, it changes in style with nearly every song to fit the various musical styles (as I had mentioned before). Whether it be his Sharks and Jets-esque choreography for the brothers in "Joseph Dreams" or his island- inspired dance in the "Benjamin Calypso", his strong work is well showcased by his talented team of dancers. Too often directors try to make the piece too contemporary, or try to do too many things with it. I applaud Mr. McDaniel for deciding to add splashes of contemporary references (the Narrator takes a picture of the cast and herself after the opening number on her iPhone), while keeping the majority of the show in the world of the approximate time period.

Mark Thompson's costume design echoes the director's strong choices by leaving the brothers in period garb (magnificently done, with just enough difference in each and every costume to make each brother stand out), and finding other places to dazzle the audience with his vision. Whether it be the blue suede shoe-clad dancers and Pharaoh, the go-go dance inspired closing of the first act, or the giant headdresses in "Song of the King", Mr. Thompson creates a colorful world that could jump off the pages of the bible just as easily as it could a children's storybook. And his many encarnations of JOSEPH'S coat are breathtaking. Richard Latta's lighting design only continues to gel this brilliant collaboration as his lights go from realistic, to contemporary theatrical, to making you feel like you are watching Beyonce in a 100,000 seat outdoor amphitheatre. He uses every color of the rainbow to complete the picture (even the panels on the proscenium light up in various Simon Says style patterns) and to make Robert Andrew Kovach's brilliant and functional set shine like a diamond. His use of curtains on the back wall to frame the giant JOSEPH book as the show begins, the various levels he creates, and the more stunning pieces (like JOSEPH'S golden chariot) all come together to complete the magical array. And under the musical direction of Eric Alsford the Ogunquit pit rocks and rolls its way through the show as amazingly as always. They navigate through the show's many genres effortlessly.

First and foremost, I will have to say that I have never watched American Idol. I've never been a big fan of the show's concept, nor am I really a fan of "pop" music. That said, I was BLOWN AWAY by Clay Aiken in the title role. His voice sounds limitless in the role to the point that it almost sounds TOO EASY for his versatile voice. I found myself wondering how many keys had been raised, or how many times he was singing an octave above what was written. His vocal display is truly astounding, and more than that it is always clear as bell and you never struggle to understand what he is singing. It was also refreshing to see a different take on JOSEPH; often times actors choose to make him boastful and almost full of himself. You can see from the very start that Mr. Aiken is a shy, humble JOSEPH who longs to be accepted by his brothers and it's his naïveté that brings upon his misfortune, not ill will. I was more than surprised by his turn in the second act as the Pharaoh's right hand man who attempts to trick his brothers. And his rendition of "Close Every Door" will bring you to your feet.

Perhaps even more impressive is the incomparable Keala Settle as the Narrator. It's little wonder why; Ms. Settle is not far removed from her triumphant portrayal of Norma Valverde in Broadway's Hands On A Hardbody, for which she received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Award nominations. Her voice is truly something to behold. Powerful, clear and her precise diction leaves no doubt of the story she tells. Her adept riffs and veritable vocal acrobatics are always appropriate, soulful and...well....amazing. Aside from her praise-worthy vocals, Ms. Settle is so emotionally engaged in JOSEPH'S story, she becomes less an omniscient observer (as Narrators in this piece are often resigned to be), and more a faithful friend who facilitates every movement on stage, and offers support to JOSEPH every step of the way. Equally emotional and soul-stirring are the first sung words she sings in the Prologue, and by song's end she has prepared you for the vocal tour de force she is.

The perfectly coiffed pompadour and dashing good looks of Matthew Ragas' Pharaoh only give a glimpse at the Presely-esque performance he gives the audience. Another pleasant surprise, Mr. Ragas vocals are his own (powerful, adept and rock n' roll-tinged) and he merely gives a nod and a wink to the King, rather than do an impression or a "hubba hubba" style take on the role. More than a few women swooned when he was revealed to sing his tune; ladies, be forewarned. Bill Nolte is fatherly, comedic and a breath of fresh air in his various roles (Jacob/Potiphar/The Baker), and his booming baritone is an utter treat and surprise (perhaps it's because I've seen/done the show with actors who weren't singers). Craig Laurie's lead on "Canaan Days" is equally hilarious and pure genius (his Franglais accent will keep you laughing from start to finish) as are the featured dancers in the number, Bridget Noltimier and Casey Garvin. Alex Puettes' twangy "One More Angel in Heaven" will have you saying YEE-HAW before its finish, and Nicholas Ward's fantastic bass vocals in the "Benjamin Calypso" are so rich and soulful you'll be wishing you heard even more of the brilliant places the score lets his seemingly bottomless bass voice come through.

All in all, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at The Ogunquit Playhouse is a dazzling theatrical experience from start to finish. JOSEPH may have been done the world over, and you may have seen it a handful of times, but I doubt you have ever seen a production quite like this. Some theatergoers may complain that JOSEPH... is a fluffy piece of music theatre; are you seeing Medea? No. But if you are lucky enough to get tickets to Ogunquit's latest hit, I assure you that your expectations of the show will be met and exceeded. For tickets and more information, please visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.

Pictured: Clay Aiken as Joseph

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Watch Clay Aiken and Keala Settle Sing to the Heavens in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Watch Clay Aiken and Keala Settle Sing to the Heavens in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Marc Snetiker August 14, 2013 - 2:58PM

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Clay Aiken in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'

Watch Keala Settle and Clay Aiken in 'Joseph' at the Ogunquit Playhouse!

Everyone’s seen the photo—now it’s time to watch the clips! Clay Aiken is making a colorful splash at Maine’s Ogunquit Playhouse, where the formerAmerican Idol favorite is playing the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Joining Aiken is another fantastic performer, the dazzling (literally, if you watch the video) Keala Settle, a newly minted Tony nominee who stars as the Narrator. Below, feast your eyes on a video montage of clips from the production, which runs through August 25. You’ve only got a few more chances to get yourDreamcoat on up in Maine! After watching this video, we have one question: Broadway transfer, anyone?

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