Before there was "Jesus Christ Superstar," there was "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
The first collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, also based on a Biblical source, was modest in both aspirations and execution, and didn't find success until after "Superstar" became a phenomenon. But it's an enjoyable show with a decent story and some good songs. (Most people would agree that Rice's lyrics aren't up to the standards he would achieve later.)
The non-Equity national tour of "Joseph" stops at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota for two shows, on Thursday and Friday.
The story, obviously, comes from the Genesis tale of Joseph and his coat of many colors. It follows that story in a fairly straightforward way, from Joseph's early life as the favorite of his father's 12 sons, to his years as a slave and to his using his skills as a dream interpreter to gain favor with the Pharaoh.
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The score doesn't include any huge hit songs, though "Any Dream Will Do," became popular.
Details: 8 p.m. March 3-4, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $50-$80. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear