‘American Idol’ alums star in 'Joseph' production at DPAC
Ace Young knows a little about what it means to be one of many brothers. The actor portrays the biblical figure Joseph in the Broadway tour of the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center May 13-18.
“Joseph is the one brother wanting to make everybody happy,” Young said in a phone interview from the tour stop in St. Louis, Mo. “Me having four older brothers, as the runt of the litter it was my job, too, keeping everyone happy.”
The Young brothers are all athletes, he said, and were competitive in all sports. As a 9-year-old, he watched older brother Marc sing “More Than Words” in a high school talent show. Ace Young turned to his dad and said that other than sports, he wanted to sing, too.
“I had no idea how much music would influence my life,” he said. After school, he was deciding between a future in football or music.
“My father’s response was, ‘What am I going to watch on Friday and Saturday?’” Young said, referring to his football games. But within a year, Young had sold a song for a children’s movie, sung the national anthem at sporting events and realized he had a chance. So he moved to California, where he also made it onto “American Idol.”
Young’s wife, Diana DeGarmo, was also on “American Idol” in a different season, and is also starring in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” as the narrator. They married last year.
“Both of us doing ‘American Idol,’ it feels like we went to the same college,” he said, and knew the same professors. “Idol” is a close-knit family, Young said.
Young and DeGarmo first performed together on Broadway in “Hair.”
“Now working with her doing ‘Joseph’ is just a dream come true,” Young said. They’ve brought along their dog on tour, too – a miniature Daschund named Rosie.
Young and DeGarmo don’t have the normal relationship where a couple each goes to a different job and then tells each other about it at the end of the day, he said.
“Once we get back home, we’re watching movies and relaxing, and we write songs,” Young said of their off-stage time on tour. Once they head back home to Nashville, Tenn., they’ll produce the songs. They’re working on a bonus song of DeGarmo’s EP called “I Do.” The song, a duet, was the first dance song at their wedding reception. They wrote it together, and the moment they finished, they choked up and knew it would be the song they danced to at their wedding, Young said.
The couple’s “Hair” performances were on Broadway, so “Joseph” on tour is a new experience. While in St. Louis, they threw out the first ball at a Cardinals baseball game.
“The most interesting thing about touring is not only a new environment, but a new team,” Young said. That includes new backstage costume dressers, band members and people who work the “house,” a theater term for on-site staff. Young said he and DeGarmo love people and enjoy meeting and working with everyone.
“I love New York, too, but it’s nice to be able to see the country with my wife,” he said.
When Young first moved to California, his grandparents invited him out on their date night in Los Angeles to see a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It was the first time Young had seen the show, which first debuted on Broadway in 1982 but was created as a pop cantata by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1967 for a school. Another production was performed in London, Toronto and Broadway in the early 1990s.
Young said he enjoyed the music most when he first saw “Joseph.” Webber covers so many music genres, he said.
“I really enjoyed the diversity of the music – was blown away by it.”
This production has little twists, he said, like the prologue reprise sung by Young and DeGarmo, who otherwise don’t interact in the show.
“I’m really excited,” Young said.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
WHEN: May 13-18
WHERE: Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St., Durham