If you were to think this 1991 London revival cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
sounds a lot like the 1992 Canadian revival cast and the 1993 Los Angeles revival cast
, you'd be right. All three use the glitzy version of Andrew Lloyd Webber
school-cantata-turned-musical based on the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors, which debuted with this London revival in 1991 and became the basis for most subsequent productions, as well as the video version
,. Yes, the "Joseph Megamix" is here, along with the witty lyrics and catchy melodies that borrow freely from country, calypso, French cafés, and Elvis
,as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph." And orchestral credits, cover art, and running time are almost exactly the same, leading one to believe that the various casts recorded their vocals over the same prerecorded orchestral tracks.
So is there any difference between the three? Yes, the singers, most notably the role of the narrator and the title character. This London production starred Linzi Hateley as the narrator and Australian pop singer Jason Donovan as Joseph. For the 1992 Canadian cast, former teen pop sensation Donny Osmond took over the title role, with Janet Metz as the narrator. In Los Angeles in 1993, Michael Damian was Joseph and Kelli Rabke the narrator. All the narrators are solid, though Hateley is probably the best overall. The biggest difference is Osmond, the clear winner with a terrific voice and irresistible warmth, contrasted with Donovan's somewhat thick and heavy singing and Damian's rather deliberate pronunciation. You really don't need more than one of these Josephs, and the Canadian cast is the one to have. --David Horiuchi