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Joseph

Cast members rehearse for "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at Drury Lane Oakbrook.

Photo by Brett Beiner

A new rendition of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is the latest production to hit the Drury Lane stage.

"Kyle DeSantis (and William Osetek) have been trying to tell classic stories in new ways at Drury Lane," said Alan Souza, director of "Joseph." DeSantis, who is the president of Drury Lane, and Artistic Director Osetek are always intent on seeking vibrant theatrical works to present at the Oakbrook venue.

Souza said when he was approached to direct the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical he said he wanted to take a look at "the words" of the tunes first and come up with something different for the popular show.

"If (people) know it as a Bible story, that's great. But, if not, someone can just see it as someone taking a moral journey," the director said.

Souza said he really wasn't a "fan" of the "Joseph" production prior to his work on the show.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is the Genesis story of "dreamer" Joseph and his brothers, who sell their father's favorite son into slavery. It's a tale that speaks of not only dreams but courage, loyalty and learning to treat people right.

The show, which enjoyed a long run in the early '90s, in Chicago and other cities, with Donny Osmond in the title role, features a mix of musical styles from Elvis-like rock to country.

Among performers starring in this production are Christina Bianco as the Narrator; Evan Alexander Smith as Joseph; and Colte Julian as Jacob/Potiphar/Pharoah.

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to interpret the show in a new way," Souza said.

"We're not going the (exact) route of the biblical story, but we're telling it in a pedestrian, every man type of way," the director said, adding it also will speak to a mature audience.

Souza said the roots of the Bible story are certainly in this production but audiences will be surprised with the twists and turns it takes. "I want to reinterpret the work, not distort it," he stressed.

According to Souza, the character "Joseph" becomes the "hero" of his own life.

"I hope people will see themselves in this story and how we can be the best versions of ourselves," he added.

Souza, who hails from New York, said he's enjoyed working with Drury Lane through the years.

"I like coming back to Drury Lane," he said. Souza directed "Camelot" in 2014 and will direct "Beauty and the Beast" in the fall at the Oakbrook venue.

FYI: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" continues to March 25 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook. Tickets are $47 to $62. The show is recommended for ages 13 and older. Children younger than 6 are not admitted to Drury Lane Main Stage productions. Call 630-530-0111, 800-745-3000 or visit DruryLaneTheatre.com.

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Features reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.