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Toronto’s Ben Page takes on a dream role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

August 11, 2023

From a humble genesis, the colourful rags-to-riches biblical tale became more successful than its creators ever dreamed possible.

"It goes through everything so quickly that it almost just washes over you," says Toronto's Ben Page about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in which they play the lead role.

The spectacular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most enduring musicals of all time, and the irresistible parable is at King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene from August 10 to September 3.

Packed with incredible dance numbers, plenty of laughter, and catchy tunes like “Go, Go, Go Joseph,” “Any Dream Will Do,” and “Close Every Door,” the worldwide phenomenon that’s been seen by 30 million people had a very humble beginning.

Joseph was originally created as a 15-minute “pop cantata” for a school choir in 1968 by the ambitious young duo of theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and pop songwriter Tim Rice. After being expanded several times over the next few years, the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester and the Albery Theatre in London’s West End both staged full-scale productions in 1973. The show eventually arrived on Broadway in 1982.

The show has been revived and revised several times, drawing big names such as David Cassidy and Andy Gibb to the title role. Donny Osmond played Joseph in the 1999 film adaptation, with Sir Richard Attenborough as his father, Jacob.

Exhilarating dance numbers, irresistible music, and a charming main character that we can all cheer for.

Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director

Joseph is an absolute favourite of audiences around the world,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. “It’s an inspiring, uplifting story of resilience, forgiveness, and humility, all wrapped up with exhilarating dance numbers, irresistible music, and a charming main character that we can all cheer for. It’s going to make for one unforgettable time at the theatre!”

Toronto’s Ben Page offers behind-the-scenes insight into the new production, and also reveals how they got their dream lead role.

What’s your character’s journey during the show?

Joseph goes from sort of the favourite child in his family of 12, and then is enslaved in Egypt, goes to prison, but eventually becomes the right-hand to the Pharaoh. It’s that huge journey from low to high.

It’s also about the Technicolor Dreamcoat and, really, it’s about the telling of the story through the Narrator, to the kids who are listening and also part of the show.

Tell us how you got the role of Joseph.

I auditioned at Drayton’s Generals (which aren’t for a specific role) back in December, and I sang my two songs. After that, they asked what shows I was interested in, and I listed off a few that I had seen in the season. Then, Alex asked, “Well, what about Joseph?” (I said) “Oh, sure! Yeah, I love Joseph!” And then, on the spot, I had to sing “Close Every Door”, which I didn’t know the lyrics to! I just knew the melody. So, we pull it up on a laptop screen and played through and sang the song. Then I think I got the call the next week.

What happens during rehearsals?

The rehearsal process is lots of music, and then followed immediately by choreography, and staging all of the number that we just learned.

When you walk in the first day, there’s all of these props, because Joseph is a show that goes through tons and tons of different styles. You’re wondering, “What is that one gonna be used for?” We’re in Act Two, and I’m like, “I don’t know what that is!” But we’ll find out soon.

My favourite part of the show is the end of Act I. I won’t say what that is!

Ben Page

What has been your most enjoyable experience so far?

I think it has been building all these small little bits through songs, because there’s so many characters in the cast. Everyone is such a phenomenal actor and just such a funny person. At any moment, you can watch and see the development of a side story. I think that’s my favourite moment, seeing some of the other cast members working on these little bits or something that they just are hilarious with.

What’s your favourite part of the show itself?

Oh, my favourite part of the show is the end of Act I. I won’t say what that is!

Why should people come to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?

Joseph is a fun musical. If you like country music, there’s a country song. If you like go-go dancing, there’s go-go dancing. If you like a classic Andrew Lloyd Webber power ballad, it’s got that. It goes through everything so quickly that it almost just washes over you. It’s hilarious. It’s an old story. It’s one that’s enduring. It’s worth seeing.

Learn more about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: