Downtown Art

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September 12, 2005 // UPDATED 1:57 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Anger management

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical telling of the Biblical account, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," is a lot like any other family tale. Anyone who has multiple kids in their families probably believes one of them has been dubbed the guiltless "golden child." He or she is the one whom Mom and Dad love the most, who can do no wrong and gets everything he or she wants.

In the book of Genesis' land of Caanan, Joseph is the charmer. Out of his 12 sons, Jacob makes his special affection obvious when he gives Joseph a fantastic coat "of many colors."

Of course, Joseph's brothers are envious of the fanciful new threads. But the real insult comes when Joseph naively reveals the fame and success his dreams foretell. To get even with their "superior" brother, the brothers plot to steal the beautiful coat and basically get rid of him, by kicking him into a pit.

However, while their plot is in process, a band of freewheeling Ishmaelite dealers lure them into a scam to sell off their sibling as a lowly slave. (We've all had moments like that, right? When we wanted to make some money off the sale of a sibling?)

The Egypt-bound Ishmealites peddle Joseph to Pharoah's official, Potiphar. Like Jacob, Potiphar warms up to Joseph speedily. That is, until his wife does, too. In this case, Melissa Cassidy is the real-life wife to Joseph star Patrick Cassidy.

Patrick, the Broadway veteran of the famed musical Cassidy tribe reprises his 1999 role as Joseph. Incidentally, Patrick and Melissa's 10-year-old and 7-year-old sons are also in the show.

In fact, the couple sold their Sherman Oaks, Calif. house to go on the road. They decided this was the perfect opportunity to pull their kids from school and home-school them in the places the children would otherwise just read about. David called it a "pretty interesting domestic life," with his wife trying to seduce him nightly onstage (while he refuses) and his sons seated stage left and right.

However, the biggest challenge the second time around, Patrick said over the phone from a Kentucky restaurant, is in becoming the young, sprightly Joseph. Although it's more visible in the music and costumes, Joseph starts off as a mere 16-year-old before he arrives in Egypt at almost 40.

Not only is it more difficult to get into the mindset, it's also demanding physically, he said. Because he's shirtless for 80 percent of the show, he must stay in shape to give the impression that he's still young. So, he constantly works out and goes to tanning salons.

In any case, Patrick Cassidy is enthusiastic. He said that he still feels emotional at the end of a show, considering the uplifting moral about realizing your dreams and rekindling disrupted family relationships.

"The message of it is universal. It's really about family and forgiveness," he said.

• Tu-Su Sept. 13-18; Tu-Th 7:30 p.m., F 8 p.m., Sa 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., Su 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 910 Hennepin Ave. S. $18-$68. 651-989-5151,www.hennepintheatredistrict.com.