The theme for April 2012 at Musical Cyberspace is “Single-Song Showstoppers”, a series of big numbers sung by a featured characters in a show – typically their only solo, although they might sing minor bits and pieces elsewhere – each of which raise the roof.
Today’s single-song showstopper is “One More Angel in Heaven”, from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Originally sung by a random brother, the song has traditionally become a solo spot for Reuben – a fitting choice, since he is the eldest brother.
The Setup: The brothers, having sold Joseph into slavery have to come up with an explanation for their father, Jacob, that will cover their tracks.
The Song: “One More Angel in Heaven” is a modest song that was upgraded to showstopper status as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was made into a bigger and bigger show. A laid back Western pastiche seems like an odd foundation for a high-energy showstopper, especially considering how serious the situation itself is, but it was when someone had the bright idea of playing into the irony of the situation, that the brothers not at all remorseful for their deeds or saddened by the loss of Joseph, that the idea for a celebratory hoedown was born. It’s that addition of dance that catapults this song into showstopper territory and, depending on how it’s handled in production, this can be an excellent example of how dance is not only be an entertaining diversion, but also a manner in which storytelling can take musicals further than what’s written on the page.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on “One More Angel in Heaven”. Click on the comments link at the end of this post and share them with us!