Most people who hear about Yosef, The Musical think it’s going to be Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s whimsical take on the biblical story of Joseph. In fact, the only similarity to that show will be the adjective “amazing” which will describe this unprecedented event in Jewish entertainment. “This will be the first ‘Broadway’ caliber musical written and performed with the frum community in mind,” said Zvika Bornstein, director, producer and co-writer of this original retelling of the story of Yosef, Hatzadik. “I like to think of it as ‘Yosef, without the dreamcoat,’” said Dr. Stuart Rappaport, co-writer and co-producer of the show.
As Bornstein and Rappaport developed the idea of creating a musical production that could be attended by all segments of the Jewish community and highlighting a theme of “unity”, Kulanu, an organization for children with special needs, agreed to partner on the project. The original thought was to do “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” But after careful consideration, Bornstein and Rappaport realized that the Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice version was not accurate to the Torah story of Yosef .
When Mr. Bornstein, who is Gad Elbaz’s producer, told the Israeli superstar about the project, Gad was excited to come on board. “I knew if Zvika was directing and producing this show, then it had to be top notch. It was something I had to be part of,” said Gad. So he and Zvika took some of Gad’s already familiar music and added some new and original compositions, specifically for this musical. The beautiful music was enhanced by lyrics and a script written by Bornstein and Rappaport, all based on the Torah and commentaries.
Mr. Bornstein then approached Yaakov Spadaro, an extremely talented musical director, musician and vocal coach, who sings with the popular group “Six13,” and asked him to serve the musical director. “When I listened to the score and lyrics, I was blown away”, said Mr. Spadaro. This was truly a work of art that I had to be a part of. I am so excited to be involved in this project.”
Dr. Beth Raskin, executive director of Kulanu has been working very closely with Bornstein and Rappaport to ensure the production’s success. “This is such an emotional story and it is told with a strong emphasis on unity within the community. It was only natural that an organization like Kulanu, which translates to “all of us together” would be the one to produce it,” Dr. Raskin said.
“The story of Yosef is so powerful” said Mr. Bornstein. “It deals with love, jealousy, pain, hope and faith. And the underlying message that I wanted to focus on is family unity, which I believe was Yosef’s ultimate motivation. I want families to see this together and come out feeling uplifted.” “I believe that this will be a learning experience for many people,” said Dr. Rappaport. “There are aspects to this story that I had never perceived until we studied each character in depth. I know that most people will walk out of this play feeling that they had gained new insights into the story of Yosef and his brothers.”
This show will certainly entertain. The cast of twenty-two men is comprised of professional actors, dancers and singers. In addition, there is an angelic boys’ choir and the famous “Iconic Boyz” dance group. This is a grand stage spectacle with colorful costumes and sets that takes place on stage and throughout the theatre. This will be the first show of its kind, created for men, women and children to enjoy together. A timeless story told through contemporary music and dance with scenes that are hysterically funny, as well as emotionally wrenching. This is truly family entertainment at its best!
There will be three performances of this spectacular show: Saturday Night, March 26th at 9:30 PM, Sunday afternoon, March 27th at 5:00 PM and Saturday Night, April 2nd at 9:30 PM. All proceeds will benefit Torah L’Kulanu, and support a Jewish education for children with special needs. The performances are held at the beautiful Master Theater in Brighton Beach, conveniently located near the Belt Parkway and accessible by public transportation. You can order tickets on line at www.Jewishtickets.com or by calling 347-534-0821 Based on the buzz, you should order your tickets now to ensure good seats. Separate seating is available.