A New Zealand production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a vaudeville musical account of the biblical parable of Joseph and his coat of many colors, stirred controversy last week when it was revealed that the show’s presenters intended to cut the word “Israel” from one of the musical’s best-known songs, “Close Every Door.”
Lyricist Tim Rice has spoken about the unauthorized changes, which also included the excision of two additional songs from the show’s score.
The upcoming September production is presented as part of the City of Wellington’s youth arts festival Artsplash. A lyric sheet for “Close Every Door,” which was distributed to students participating in the production, showed that the word “Israel” had been replaced with “kindness.”
Rice’s original lyric reads:
Children of Israel
Are never alone
For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind
For I have been promised
A land of my own
See how the story developed on social media below.
Representatives for Lloyd Webber and Rice did not immediately respond to Playbill.com's request for comment.