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 Way, way back many centuries ago, not long after the Bible began...

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It's part of the book of Genesis... BUT WITH SINGING.

Really, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (abbreviated as Joseph...Dreamcoat, Dreamcoat, J&tATD, etc. etc.) is simply that: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Breakthrough Hit, it's based on the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.

Tropes used in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat include:


  • Adaptation Decay: The Hebrew word "pac", translated as "of many colours" in the King James Bible, probably refers to a tunic reaching to the palms and soles. This means Joseph wasn't wearing a multicolored coat, he was wearing a long coat or a coat with long sleeves. But that wouldn't look nearly as impressive on stage, or make for as much fun in a song.
  • Anachronism Stew: Done very much on purpose. An Elvis impersonator as Pharaoh. There's also "Those Canaan Days", which features Joseph's brothers and father with French-style clothing and ridiculous fake accents.
    • Not to mention the country-styled "One More Angel", where one of the brothers even says "10-4, good buddy!"
      • Not to mention that the Ishmaelites try to pay for Joseph with a credit card, and there's a slot machine in "Grovel, Grovel"?
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: "There's one more angel in heaven, There's one more star in the sky..."
  • Bible Times
  • Camp: The film, in spades.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Some productions play Joseph as one of these. And it's definitely what his brothers think that he is.
  • Crowd Song: "Go Go Go Joseph"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: From Close Every Door: "Just give me a number, instead of a name" - coupled with the references to the Children of Israel - hearken to the treatment of death-camp inmates during World War II
  • Double Entendre: Especially among high school productions, it's practically a contest to see who can make Joseph's dream about his brothers' small, green sheaves seem the most like a penis joke.
  • Fan Service: Apart from shirtless Joseph, among the costumes featured in the movie version? Mrs. Potiphar's costume. Which looks like a bustier with pasties.
  • Gender Neutral Narrator: As written, the Narrator has no specific gender, but is now always played by a woman to amend for the complete lack of female characters (other than Potiphar's Wife).
  • Groupie Brigade: During "Stone the Crows" in the movie.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Joseph would be perfectly happy being enslaved, if it weren't for those darn beautiful women trying to have sex with him all the time.
    • To be fair, he worked his way up so he was basically running the house. As far as slave gigs go, it's not the worst you could get.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Played for Laughs
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  "No one comes to dinner now/We'd only eat them anyhow."

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  • Interactive Narrator: Depends on the production, but in the movie? Interactive enough to dance with the brothers, flirt with Pharaoh, and get hippie-married to Joseph.
  • Intro Dump: "Jacob & Sons".
  • Large Ham: If the brothers, Jacob, the chorus, Pharaoh, Potiphar's wife, and the narrator usually are in later productions, which makes it a World of Ham.
  • Lighter and Softer
  • List Song: Red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and gray and purple and white and pink and orange and blue.
    • Reuben was the eldest of the children of Israel...
  • MacGuffin: the Technicolor Dreamcoat itself, which Joseph wears for all of five minutes
  • Medium Awareness: A few of the lyrics suggest that the characters know they are in a show. For example, the Prologue has the narrator say that she will tell the story of Joseph since the audience are there for a couple of hours. The lyric, "We've read the book and you come out on top" also applies.
    • In the movie, when failing to understand Pharaoh's dreams, Joseph flips through the pages of a Bible to find the answer.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Benjamin Calypso", a cheery psuedo-Haiwaiian song which comes just seconds after Benjamin is framed for theft.
    • Also in "One More Angel", where the brothers celebrate Joseph's "death" while their father's gone, then pretend to cry whenever he arrives.
    • Also, the ensemble goes into the rousing chorus of "Go go go Joseph!" just after the announcement of the Baker's death.
  • Original Cast Precedent: The same person usually plays both Jacob and Potiphar, three of the brothers play the baker, butler, and Pharaoh, and sometimes Mrs. Potiphar will be played by one of the wives.
  • Parental Favoritism: The whole plot starts because of this.
  • Recurring Riff: "Poor, poor [whoever], whatcha gonna do?" Also, the Prologue becomes the prologue-of-sorts to the second part (Pharaoh Story). Also, "Joseph's Coat" becomes "Pharaoh's Dreams Explained" in the second act.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Potiphar and his wife.
  • Villain Song: Potiphar and his wife get their own. The brothers get "One More Angel in Heaven".
  • You Can't Fight Fate: The brothers try to make it so that Joseph's dreams won't come true... And oh, how they fail.
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