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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Flower Festival 2006 in Chiang Mai

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda Suwanchaisri (student trainees MFLU)

Ajarn Tianchai Sooktiang, the man with a vision, the man who made it all possible in cooperation with The Really Useful Group London

“Any dream will do!” are the words of a dreamy young man, who, like all of us, hopes that one day his dream will come true. This is a famous classic family musical that has been performed again in Chiang Mai by the Voice Studio Institute directed by Maroot Sarowat, a famous play director, in the Kad Suan Kaew theatre.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a story from the bible for which the music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the lyrics written by Tim Rice. It is the story of a young man named Joseph living in the land of Canaan. He’s his father’s favorite son and is the youngest of 11 brothers and perhaps because being the youngest, he is a little spoiled. He receives a gift from his adoring father which is a rainbow colored coat but his brothers have to wear sheepskin clothing. The rest of Joseph’s brothers aren’t very pleased with the situation, so they abduct him, destroy his cherished coat and sell him into Egyptian slavery. They then tell Jacob (their father) that Joseph is dead. But finally he works his way out of slavery and through his talents, becomes the Minister of Agriculture of Egypt. He eventually returns to Canaan and helps everyone in his family live happily after.

Joseph delighted that his father gave him the multi-colored coat

Act 1 opened with a melodious “Overture” played by the orchestra. The scene is set in Egypt, with the two narrators, Suwannee Eu-bank and Ajarn Thianchai Sooktiang, playing the parts of Egyptian schoolteachers. While they were waiting to start the trip, the teachers told their students the tale of the young man called Joseph, whose dream came true.

Suwannee Eubank and Ajarn Thianchai Sooktiang began by singing the “Prologue” which introduced the dreamer Joseph, played by Grant Karlsuwan, who with his dreamy face, bright eyes and powerful voice sang the haunting lyric “Any Dream Will Do”.

“One More Angel in the Heaven” - one day an angel will give you a blessing and your life will be full of happiness.

In the first act, we get to know Jacob, played by Jaew Yuttana Lorpanpaiboon, and his twelve sons including Joseph, with the opening song “Jacob and Sons” and “Joseph’s Coat” when he receives the multi-colored garment from his father. Then came the song “Joseph’s Dream” which highlighted the event that caused the rest of his 11 brothers to resent Joseph so much, causing them to pack him off to Egypt as a slave.

After “Poor Poor Joseph” and “One More Angel in Heaven” the scene changes to where Joseph is in slavery.

Jacob met his most favorite son, Joseph, after believing that he had been dead for many years.

The musical then resumed with a more dramatic flair when Joseph, whilst working for Potiphar, was imprisoned after being discovered seducing the wife of his boss. While in jail, Joseph sings two very emotional songs “Poor Poor Joseph” and “Close Every Door” which brought the odd tear to the audience’s eye. These touching songs enabled Joseph to express his feelings in that scene and when standing all alone in the dark, with the stage backlit only by candles held by children behind him, it gave the audience the intense feeling that they were part of the situation. With “Go, Go, Go Joseph” and its stimulating rhythm, the lightheaded mood was brought back and for the next 15 minutes the wide stage was filled with additional players dancing together, bringing the performance to the intermission.

“Pharaoh’s story” was performed very well with the clear voices of all the players on the stage.

Act 2 opened with the dazzling and beautiful setting of Elvis-Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt. Elvis-Pharaoh, who was having some strange dreams himself, was told by his butler of a young man in prison who could interpret his dreams and perhaps alleviate some of Pharaoh’s worries. Joseph was brought before him to explain the dreams and being really impressed with the smart young man, Pharaoh appointed him to be the Minister of Agriculture of Egypt.

Joseph became the Minister of Agriculture of Egypt because of his aspirations and abilities.

In the meantime Jacob’s family is having a tough time and decided to go to check on the food situation in Egypt, but when they appeared in front of Joseph, they did not recognize him. Joseph kept up the pretence, wanting to make them realize what they had done to him. He accused Benjamin, the youngest most innocent brother of stealing and when the brothers leapt to Benjamin’s defense, he was sure that they had changed for the better and revealed his identity with the song “Joseph All the Time”. Everyone is happy at being a reunited family and Joseph sang of his dream again with “Any Dream Will Do” and “Give Me My Colored Coat”, before bringing the performance to a close.

At the end of a great musical performance, the audience agreed that they had enjoyed the opportunity to see such a wonderful show performed by Chiang Mai artists. “This goes to show just what Chiang Mai people can do,” they said. “We hope that there will be more performances like this again in the near future.”

Suwannee Eubank and Ajarn Thianchai Sooktiang with the actors and singers.

Joseph played by Grant Karlsuwan, a young man who has his heart full with dreams singing “Any Dream Will Do” with the children.

The two narrators, Suwannee Eubank (middle) and Ajarn Thianchai Sooktiang (middle).

Joseph making the rest of his brothers grovel before the accused brother Benjamin.

The huge stage filled with a cast of over 40 people, performing “Go, Go, Go Joseph”.

Jacob, his 11 sons and their wives introduce themselves

Flower Festival 2006 in Chiang Mai

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Costumed lady on flower decorated-vehicle.

When winter comes again, various seasonal flowers spring into bloom in Northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai, where the annual Flower Festival is organized to show off the amazing beauty and incredible variety of the flowers. The Flower Festival in Chiang Mai is recognized as an important tourism activity and has been going on for 30 years. This year, it commenced on February 3, going on through to February 5, with huge crowds of tourists, both Thai and foreign, lining the streets to see the parade of flower decorated vehicles, with beautiful Thai ladies sitting gracefully on them. These floats make an incredible sight and are the result of hundreds of hours of hard work and amazing artistry by both government and private sector organizations to prepare for the festival.

Statue of King Bhumibol decorated the San Pa Tong district float.

In the morning of February 4, the Flower Festival parade began from Nawarat Bridge, along Thapae Road, Khodchasarn Road, Chang Law Road passing Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital to Watthanothai Payap School and then turning inside the city canal to end up at Suan Buak Had Public Park, where the festival proper is held. There were other many activities such as flower and orchid displays, a gardening competition and an OTOP product display.

The parade of flower decorated-vehicles was also a form of beauty competition, with first place going to the beautifully decorated float of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern Office Region 1. First runner-up went to San Pa Tong district, second runner-up spot to San Sai district and Maejo University, with the consolation prize going to Mae Wang district. The first prize for the float showing the greatest flair and imagination was awarded to the International Horticulture Exposition. First runner-up spot was taken by Doi Saket and San Kamphaeng districts, second runner-up prize was claimed by Mae Rim district and the consolation prize went to Mae Taeng district. The Culture Conservation champion was Muang district, with first runner-up prize going to Hang Dong district, second runner-up won by Saraphi district and the consolation prize going to Phrao district.

Acknowledging the 60th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of King Bhumibol on San Pa Tong district float.

Miss Flower and Miss Flower International contests were held at Suan Buak Had Public Park on the evening of February 3. The Miss Flower contest saw 23 beautiful ladies in flower decorated-costumes, with five being selected for the final. Miss Flower was adjudged to be Nopawan Panya, also winning a media vote award, while the runners-up were Netsai Thaim-anan and Chadapa Inthakul. Miss Flower International was a competition between 19 ladies, with the title Miss Flower International being awarded to Wang Mai Wang from China, who was also selected to receive the Thai Culture Award, while the first and second runners-up were Citka Elna Toty from Sweden and Elizabeth Megham from the USA.

Miss Flower 2006, Nopawan Panya (center) and the two runners-up Netsai Thaim-anan (left) and Chadapa Inthakul (right).

Miss Flower International, Wang Mai Wang from China (right).

Band from Wachirawit School wearing modified hill-tribe costumes.

Flower vehicle and a beautiful lady from San Sai district.

Hang Dong district’s float.

Karen girls attending the Flower Festival 2006.

Ratchaphruek International Horticulture Exposition 2006 joined the festival to promote its activities and was selected as the most imaginative.

Vehicles beautifully decorated with flowers.

Flower parade of Flower Festival 2006.