Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Lure of That Amazing Coat

I have a confession.
And along with the confession comes a story. A good story. An entertaining story. A halfway amusing story. There aren't many interesting stories that originate in my life. I'm just not that exciting.

This story begins with a coat. An amazing coat. One made of many colors. And includes


While Brad was in law school in Chicago from 1992-95, Donny Osmond was making a comeback as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I have a truly tolerant, loving husband whom I would venture to say had never entertained the idea of watching a musical before meeting me. But since he knows how much I love them, he has always at least tried to like them. Some, I would say, I have converted him to. Others--well, we all have different tastes, don't we?

I digress.

The point is, even on a law-student-family budget (which is ever smaller than a regular law student budget), Brad found the resources to take me to see this show. And it instantly became one of my favorites. If not my most favorite. It's hard to compare apples and oranges (Joseph and, say, Les Miserables), but the music and message and mood of Joseph is one that can immediately change your mood and make you happy. In fact, a few of the songs were on my iPod for my first marathon.

I digress again.

I loved the show, and I couldn't wait to see it again. But you remember the previously mentioned law student budget? Not really in the cards. Until--Brad's dad and his wife came to Chicago, and we needed to find something to do. Hmmmm. Could I possibly think of anything? As it so happened, I could. And all four of us went to see the show. On Grandpa's dime, this time. And I still loved every second. There's something about seeing a Broadway-level show in real life that changes you and your perspective on theatre. I couldn't get enough. And Donny Osmond was truly great as Joseph. I still remember how his voice carried through the theatre when he would sing "Close Every Door." What is it about good music, sung by the truly talented? It speaks to my soul.

I digress yet again.

Here's the real story:

When my mom came to Chicago to visit us a few months later, all I wanted to share with her was Joseph--the whole experience. But how could I justify seeing it yet a third time? Remember the loving, tolerant husband I mentioned earlier? He found a way to get us to the show. And this time, our seats were in the front row of the first balcony. This is important because, you see, at the close of the show, after the reprise of "Go, Go, Go Joseph," a cast member would attach a sky hook to Donny's back, and he would fly up into the air, about eye level with this balcony, and as he ascended, the tails of his technicolor dreamcoat made a huge fabric rainbow behind him. It was really quite dramatic and . . .cool. And we would have front-row seats for this!

Where's the confession, you ask?

Well, in this version of the show, the director added an encore of "Close Every Door" just before Joseph is reunited with Jacob (if you're unfamiliar with the show, this will make no sense to you, but bear with me, we're almost there). All the kids' chorus sat around him on the floor, and we were treated to hear the song, in its entirety, for a second time in the same performance. And it truly was a treat when the opening bars of the song would start. Now, those of you who know me know that I'm no shrinking violet. But I'm not a rabble-rowser, either. But when the first few bars of that song started, with him sitting in the midst of all those kids, I couldn't contain it any longer. And as impetuously as I could, I yelled from the front row of the first balcony (a place where sound could carry to the entire theatre, I would venture to say) "We love you, Donny!" What was I thinking? In doing so, I made him miss his cue from the orchestra. Again--What was I thinking? He just laughed good-naturedly, shrugged, and started again. I was so embarrassed. But how could I restrain myself? I mean, really? Don't remember the rest of the show, but I do have the honor of single-handedly stopping a Broadway show. Not a great claim to fame, but a burden I must shoulder, nonetheless.

So this whole personal narrative essay leads up to this:

Lily is a member of the children's chorus in Joseph this next week at MCC, playing October 28-31. (Yes, Lily is missing trick or treating. No, she is definitely not okay with that.) Although I can promise Donny won't be in the house, I know I will be (baby permitting). It is truly one of the best musicals of all time. Great for families. Great for adults. And if you'd like to see it, you can call the MCC box office at 461-7172 to reserve tickets. It will be worth your time. I promise.

Plus, I need someone to go with me to restrain me from dancing and shouting in the aisles.


  1. I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone could restrain you when watching a "Joseph" performance. I remember the Donny version very well. I mostly remember it the same as you. The only thing different is that we were not on the first row of the balcony, but the second, and ahead of us were some older ladies who were not in the real spirit of the show or they would not have turned around and glowered at us every time you expressed your enjoyment. It was one of the funnest times of my life to see you so happy. I bet that was the only show Donny ever did where he had to start the encore over again because he was laughing. You were great!

  2. I must concede the front row/second row issue to my mom. Frankly, I don't remember the crotchedly old ladies. Must have been the rapture of the moment. But I've never really been one who cared much at others thought of me. Such a fun thing to share memories like this with your mom. Love you!

  3. Ok, that's a funny story! Thanks for the laugh. And, if I could be there shouting love for Lily, I would.

  4. This is a great story! I only wish I'd been there to hear you shriek your affection to Donny.


    And now your daughter is following in his technicolor footsteps. It's perfect.

    Enjoy it.


    PS. But don't forget to have the baby on October 25th. You should be able to make it to one of the later showings... ;)

  5. I love this story, you are HYSTERICAL! I too LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this musical and agree cmopletely that it is the perfect musical for family. It's just good times non-stop. I only wish I could be narrator again, 'cause it was the FUNNEST performing experience I've ever had! I'll see you there Friday night! I'm proud to say I coached the Joseph into getting the part and through this whole show process. He's darling!

  6. I think I am calling MCC tomorrow. My 3 oldest boys know every single word to the Donny/Joseph sound track and I am not supposed to ever mention that o the fact that GO GO Jodeph is their favorite song in life. Sung quite often in different family situations I might add.

  7. i will likely be SUPER prego by the st george marathon but i would LOVE to do it the next year :) and i would wait for you... but the bug not be there for too long :)

  8. Oh, I would SO go with you! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Donny story. I might have yelled it out, too, had I been there. Because I love Donny, too. I actually met and shook his hand almost two years ago backstage of the conference center. *Swoon*. I didn't see him as Joseph on stage, but we do watch the video often.

    Good luck to Lily.

  9. That is so awesome! I love it! I love it! : ) That is one thing I can say I have never done.

    Did your daughter have a good time in the play? That sounds fantastic.