Julie and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- Episode 132 of the How Was Your Week?
I rediscovered Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, so that’s something. How come that Clay Aiken photograph isn’t a meme, like the way that you see, you know, Grumpy Cat or … wasn’t there that disapproving Asian father? That wasn’t racist. But why don’t I see that photo of Clay Aiken in his coat of many colors constantly, why hasn’t that taken over the Internet? That makes me feel like the Internet is a hetero … gene — no, that’s not the right word. Homophobic, I’ll just call the Internet homophobic.
(sighs) Clay Aiken will do justice to that role, I feel, because if you don’t know the story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, it goes like this: The Narrator comes out, she’s one of like two female roles. The other’s Potiphar’s wife and she’s a slut. Oh, I slut-shamed Potiphar’s wife within five minutes of my monologue.
The Narrator comes in and she talks about how some people have bigger ambitions than others and some people have intentions to be more on this Earth than the schlubs who will mouth breathe on their crossword puzzles when you’re just trying to get to 34th street … without having their long hair brush against your bare skin. That is the thing I’m looking forward to most in Fall, is being on the subway and not feeling someone’s hair brush against my skin just because I happen to be sitting or standing next to them. There’s literally nothing worse.
Anyway, the Narrator — who I played in camp … then there was a British counselor that kept telling me to wear a waistcoat and I was like, “What are you talking about? What’s my costume?” She goes “Get a waistcoat, get a waistcoat.” I found out that she was talking about a vest, which I found because it was 1989, everything worked out great.
Anyway, the Narrator, who’s really the main character, I mean, you wanna be the Narrator, sets up the story about Jacob, whose wife died and had a lot of sons and he very blatantly favored one, which was a recipe for resentment. And the one he favored reminded him of his wife … which is not explored. Tim Rice — I almost said Tim Rice was many things, but he really wasn’t, he was just a lyricist … until Andrew Lloyd Weber was having no more of him. And for good reason, because Tim Rice is not a good lyricist. He’s just not. I’m not gonna qualify that, I’m not going to apologize for it. It’s just a fact. There are worse things to be … but not many.
(sighs) What was I up to in the story? The father bought a colored coat for Joseph because he liked him best and then at this point in the show Clay Aiken will spin around. He will just never stop spinning around … to show off the coat. And I also think it’s weird — and not just because I’m Dolly Parton-centric — but I think it’s weird that Jacob bought the coast instead of made it.
Now, where are we up to? Joseph has a coat, he’s being kind of a cock about it. He talks about how great he looks in it. I don’t remember how he’s a cock about it but he’s a cock about it. And then the brothers decide to … kill him? They get mad. One of the lyrics has to do with like “getting our goat” and then there is a goat and they kill the goat. I think at one point they’re like “We’re gonna kill him” and then they said “no” or maybe Benjamin said “no”?
Benjamin’s the youngest. Benjamin was the second favorite. In the Bible it was perfectly okay to rank your children. Different parenting ideas, although as I say that, count down to the next fucking blog to book deal of some asshole in Brooklyn saying “Wouldn’t it be fun if I raised my children for a year in the way that they do in Biblical times?” Just … how ‘bout you play Russian Roulette instead? And let me pack the chambers, wink-wink, she says with a fistful of bullets.
So the brothers have a change of heart or Benjamin convinces them otherwise and they decide to kill a goat. And the Narrator, who as I mentioned is really the star of the show, has a line where she says “The wretched beast” or “The wretched creature” … whatever is dead and then they spill the blood on the — by the way, there’s a lot, in Jewish — and this is a Jewish show. Jesus Christ Superstar is a goyish show, New Testament. This was AL Dubbs’ (Andrew Lloyd Weber’s) old school Testament show. And it was a testament to how lousy something can be and still please the ear.
Now, where was I in the story? The brothers put blood on the coat. If you’re the prop master of a production of Joseph, here’s what you need: You need two coats. You need one coat that looks great and then you need another one that has blood on it. So they bring that coat to their Dad and the Dad’s devastated ‘cause his favorite son is ostensibly dead. It’s already dark and I’m telling you that growing up I related to everybody in this play. Except for Potiphar.
… (sips) Clinky-clinky, guess what’s back? Mr. Maker’s Mark.
I just related to the idea of being jealous of someone getting special attention, of deserving special attention because of special abilities and then being bullied. I felt this show in a deep place. Which is why my role as Narrator was so — oh, the other thing about that British counselor, she called it “na-rate-or”, which is not how you pronounce that. You ever know someone who will use the British spelling of things or pronounce things British-ly in their American day-to-day lives because at one point they decided to have an affectation? Those people are the most fun.
Act II: Joseph is sold as a slave by his brothers to some pee-pell. He ends up in jail and then he predicts dreams from I think a baker and a butcher … or a tailor and a tinker and a soldier and a spy. Some semblance of the archetypes that were or were not going to fuck-marry-kill Tevye’s daughters. They’re in the prison cell with him, they have dreams, they tell Joseph, Joseph says “Here’s what your dreams mean” but not in a shrink way. People say “Joseph was the first psychiatri—” no, he wasn’t. “I had this dream” and he goes “Oh, that means that there’s gonna be war or famine.” He’s basically doing the equivalent of holding an index card to his head while Ed drunkenly guffawed in times of olde. Those were the good old days.
(sighs) No Steve Higgins was Ed McMahon.
So what happened? Pharaoh said “You’ll be my dream interpreter”, he comes up, prepares them for famine. What happens? Potiphar’s wife tries to fuck him, he says no, she says he tried to rape her … ‘cause that’s what sluts do. Slut-shamed her again! Joan Collins plays her in the movie version with Donny Osmond, I strongly recommend looking that up. And I think the guy who plays Otho from Beetlejuice is in that scene. It’s not bad, there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than watching that.
What happens then? Joseph does well for himself. The brothers forgot to plan for the famine or something? And they come and beg for food … to the Pharaoh … is it the Pharaoh? And Joseph’s like “Surprise, it’s me!” and the brothers are like “Oh … boy!” And he’s like “No, it’s cool, I forgive you.” And Jacob is psyched. And to be honest that’s also kind of Joseph looking like a cock because he extended kindness to his brothers while everyone was watching. Mm-hm.
And then he sings a song at the end and it is called “Any Dream Will Do”. There are two songs that Joseph sings: One is “Close Every Door to Me”, which he sings in a prison, and the other is the one I just mentioned. “Close Every Door to Me” was originally going to be the opening theme song to Orange is the New Black but they decided it wasn’t long enough.
There are so many other things I should be talking about besides this … I’m not good at prioritizing. I put this monologue list together right before I recorded it, and … just like a ramshackle — and it should be organized by priority and yet it isn’t, but I have a feeling that Clay Aiken will bring a dimension to a role that will further affect me because he is a redhead. And I know that, especially as a redheaded male it’s easy to feel like you’re getting too much attention, and not the best kind. So I’ll be interested to see what he uses from his personal experience in playing the part of Joseph. In … what production is it, by the way, is it going to be televised? Is Clay Aiken doing it on Broadway, is this going to be on Ovation with Raising McCain, Meghan McCain’s new talk show?
Lotta talk shows. Women get daytime talk shows. Men, as long as they’re white or Arsenio, which I’ll talk about in a second, rule the night. Women need to take back the night in a different way, starting with laughter.
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