How did J.C. McCann get ready for a career in the theater? He spent two years working in the oil fields of Wyoming.
“I had this itch about the theater,” said McCann, who is playing the title role in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” coming to Proctors for Monday and Tuesday evening performances at 7:30. “It was something I wanted to go for, so I went to work in the Wyoming oil fields for two years and saved up enough money to come to New York and really put all of myself into it.”
The move has paid off. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the non-Equity tour of the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical first produced in the West End in 1973 and on Broadway in 1982. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who won a Tony Award in 2008 for “In the Heights,” is directing and choreographing the national tour of “Joseph.” Blankenbuehler also choreographed Broadway’s current smash hit, “Hamilton.”
‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’
WHERE: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
HOW MUCH: $65-$20
MORE INFO: 356-6204, www.proctors.org
“This has been such a fun and creative show to be a part of,” said McCann. “Andy Blankenbuehler is amazing, and working with him is so great. . . . He’s brought some new elements to ‘Joseph.’ It’s still the classic story of Joseph and his brothers from the Bible, but Andy brings some really modern, hip things to this production.”
A native of Rawlins, Wyoming, McCann was working as an insurance adjuster in Montana before taking a leap of faith back into the theater world.
“I was sort of involved in community theater, and I had a good, solid job, but I knew I wanted a little something more,” said McCann, who graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in vocal performance.
“Sometimes the demands of life can lead you one way or another, and keep you from dreaming too big. And that’s why I went to the oil fields to make some money and then head to New York. I wanted to make sure I gave myself some time and really put everything into it.”
McCann moved to New York City in 2013, but soon got a job performing as Curly in “Oklahoma!” at the Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Then, it was back to New York City, and this year he landed the lead in “Joseph.” The tour began in September.
“It’s very family-friendly, and it’s got a little something for everybody,” said McCann. “It’s almost entirely sung; I say about one line in the whole show, and that’s it. It is quite a spectacle. . . . It’s been going very well, and people seem to be leaving the show feeling inspired.”
“Joseph” was first presented as a 15-minute sketch in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After Rice and Webber scored big with “Jesus Christ Superstar,” they went back to work on “Joseph,” producing the show as a full musical in London in 1973. Several major revivals and a 1999 straight-to-video film, starring Donny Osmond, kept the show in the spotlight.
“I hadn’t seen a stage production when I got involved, but I did see the Donny Osmond movie and he did a great job,” said McCann. “It was fun to see what he brought to the role, and I’m having great fun bringing my own take to the role.”
Laura Helm, who played Lucy Harris in the national tour of “Jekyll & Hyde,” plays the Narrator.
“The action kind of passes back and forth between us,” said McCann. “Laura, as the narrator, interacts with the audience and tells the story, and she does a great job.”
Reach Gazette reporter Bill Buell at 395-3190 or [email protected]