Interview: Curt Dale Clark And Jake Levy of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Fulton Theatre

Jake Levy (Joseph) and Curt Dale Clark (Pharaoh) took a break from their busy schedule to answer a few questions.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
Interview: Curt Dale Clark And Jake Levy of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Fulton Theatre

Interview: Curt Dale Clark And Jake Levy of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Fulton Theatre

Whether you’ve seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat multiple times or not at all, you’ve never seen it like this. Broadway World was fortunate to sit down with two of the main characters from this spectacular show. Already receiving glowing reviews (and for good reason), director Marc Robin is delighting audience members with a mix of traditional and unique takes on this popular show.

Fulton goers are prepared to see Broadway quality productions with outstanding live music and set design that far exceeds the expectations of regional theater, but few will leave this show without a new appreciation for what the Fulton now has to offer. 

Jake Levy (Joseph) and Curt Dale Clark (Pharaoh) took a break from their busy schedule to answer a few questions.

BWW: Tell us a little bit about your background.

Clark: I'm a graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. I lived in Chicago for 21 years. I moved here to Lancaster 20 years ago. I got a job running Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick Maine 10 years ago. Now, I split time between the two places.

BWW: Isn't there a partnership between Maine State Music Theater and the Fulton? 

Clark: Yes, we do Co-Pros (co-productions). That was started before I became the artistic director and we have continued it. 

BWW:Are you still the artistic director there? 

Clark: I am. 

BWW: Jake, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Levy: I grew up doing theater since I was 10 years old when I did an off Broadway show called Take Me Along. That was my introduction to theater. I started doing regional theater on Long Island where I grew up. I studied musical theater at UCLA and have continued to do theater. In the last couple of years, I did an Off-Broadway show called Superhero written by Tom Kitt and that was wild and very exciting. From there I jumped into the national tour of Anastasia. I did that for a year, up until the pandemic.

BWW: How did you learn about this opportunity at the Fulton? What inspired you to audition? 

Clark: I was in a production of Joseph 30 years ago. I played Reuben and sang on the national tour. I then played Levi in another production and I always wanted to play the Pharaoh.

Levy: This is a show I've always wanted to do and Joseph is such a fun role. And, the Fulton is such a beautiful place just a hop skip and jump away from New York.

BWW: This is an iconic show that lots of audience members know well. It's a very popular show. So, are you doing a traditional interpretation or taking it in a new direction?

Clark: We are two of the more traditional takes on our role in this show that is a totally non-traditional take on the show. Our parts sit in the vein that they normally sit in while everything around us is heightened immensely. I think it's part of why it works.

Levy: I think the cool part about this show is that it's been around so long yet it is an empty canvas at times and can be done in so many ways. There are so many flavors you can add to it. That's where we get really excited. What's happening around us is so non-traditional and really exciting. 

Clark: I will say, I don't ever think I've seen a Joseph spin a plate before. 

Levy: I grew up spinning plates. I went to a kids party that had a clown who taught us how to spin plates and do other circus things.

Clark: I haven’t seen it yet but I am told it is amazing and I have never gotten to see it. 

BWW: You both mentioned that your parts are more traditional while other roles incorporate a lot of new takes. Are these director choices or actor choices?

Clark: All of the above, but it starts in Marc's brain. Marc has been thinking about this show for a long time. I believe it's his fourth or fifth time doing this show. Every time he has ideas and is faced with budgets, cast size, and space limitations. Over the last 15 years, the Fulton has begun getting rid of all those limitations and have gotten closer and closer to a full Broadway run house. By adding the wing space, the height, mechanical pieces, and video capability, it enables a show like this to exist. I've done over 100 shows with him and I've rarely seen him this emotional watching something come to fruition.

Levy: The Fulton now has all these new toys. Much of it has only come out in the last few years. There are digital screens and holograms, so much that the Fulton has access to that you don't normally see in a regional theater. In many ways, it’s the same as any Broadway company would have. 

Clark: As far as creative choices, we joke about Jake's plate spinning but that's an example of how the director allows the actors to be creative. Jake mentioned, ”hey I can spin plates” and Marc is like, “it's in”. So the actors have a hand in it. Marc is great at letting the actors…

Levy: Shine in the way that they can

Clark: and smart enough to know that he is going to get the credit for it if it looks good

Levy: It becomes a conversation. Any ideas he has becomes a conversation with the cast. It’s really beautiful. 

BWW: You are already getting rave reviews about this show. What do you attribute to the success?

Clark: The show is unbelievable. The audience’s senses are inundated with things they are not used to seeing. The technical elements, the amazing singing, excellent dancing, it becomes a feast for the senses. A large part of the audience has already seen Joseph. So they think they know what they're coming to see, but this one is different. 

Levy: By design, the show is a party. It is this constant flow of energy that is coming at you and if that energy is very positive and exciting and new, then it's a formula for success.

BWW: This is a very high energy show, what do you all do to keep that energy day after day?

Levy:  It's motivating to get up every day and tell such a fun story. Even though 70% or so of our audience has seen this show before, it's very exciting to see the audience's reactions and introduce this show to new people. And all the kids in the cast; for some of them this is their first show and that adds to the fueling. I was that kid doing my first show. To be so excited, to be there everyday. It is so fueling to see the younger generation and feel that fire. On top of that, we're doing a really fun and wacky show which is just so exciting to do every night. Even on two show days, I'm still ramped and ready for the next one.

Clark: Energy is not hard to find and I think the kids are a big part of it. The kids come out at the end of the show and the audience goes crazy for them. As the kids leave the stage, I'm the first person they pass and to see the look on their faces…it’s like butter. 

Levy:  And how cool for the opportunity for them to be in such a grand production. I grew up doing regional theater, but nothing like this. They're all locals. So, to get that taste of true extravagant Broadway level performance and a professional atmosphere is very exciting. 

BWW:  You mentioned the Broadway quality shows here at the Fulton. That is why the audience members keep coming back. But what has brought you here to the Fulton?

Clark:  I live here. I moved here with Marc and we fell in love with this community and the lifestyle you can have here.

Levy:  I have split my time between New York City and LA. Driving out here for the first time, this is beautiful. You have this small town/city neighborhood. It's a beautiful place to be. The Fulton is such a beautiful theater. It's just unbelievable. 

Clark: Nothing makes me happier than bringing people here from Maine or Chicago. They come here and say “how can they do this in Lancaster, Pennsylvania?”

Levy:  That is truly the reaction that I've had.  Right when I heard I got the role here, I was excited.

BWW:  Have you explored Lancaster?

Levy: We’ve gone out to Amish country and the town here. Everyone is so welcoming and nice. We were down at Lancaster Pie and Company on one of our first days here. They were so nice and they even invited my girlfriend to come down and make pies. We were at Friendly's and a woman came up and expressed how she was star struck. She had seen the show and thought it was just amazing. We later found out that she had paid for our desserts. 

BWW: Do you have any favorite moments in the show? 

Clark: Having three narrators is very special. I was not a fan at first but it really works and now I love it.

Jake: Honestly, Close Every Door is a beautiful song to share, but I really love the mega mix. Make sure you stay for that. It is so unique and you won’t have seen anything like it. 

BWW: What else would you like to share with the audience?

Clark: Get your tickets!

Levy: It's a perfect show for the holidays. It's a heartwarming story of family and love. On top of that, you're getting a wild experience

Clark:  With all the bells and whistles and amazing things going on, it still has that warmth and love.