‘Technicolor’ of love — Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young co-star in ‘Joseph’ tour

Written By By BILL ZWECKER Posted: 03/17/2014, 12:04pm

Since Diana DeGarmo first captured national attention by being runner-up to Fantasia Barrino on the third season of “American idol,” the singer and actress has gone on to Broadway success in such shows as “9 to 5,” “Hairspray” and “Brooklyn: The Musical.” DeGarmo also starred on “The Young and the Restless” soap opera and now is touring in a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — co-starring with her husband, Ace Young, a fellow “Idol” alum whom she met while doing “Hair.” Young famously proposed to DeGarmo on the season 11 finale of “Idol.”

“Joseph” runs at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, beginning Tuesday.

Q. How is it working with your husband in this show?

A. We met working together in “Hair,” so it comes very naturally to us. When we first started doing “Joseph,” people in the cast were curious as to how the energy was going to be, but because we had worked together before, it was like stepping back into old habits. We spend so much time together anyway, we said, “Why don’t we make it 24/7 — literally?”

Q. “Joseph” has played here numerous times, including a years-long run starring Donny Osmond. What has you excited about this new production?

A. For people who are worried about Donny, we got Donny’s blessing. Ace made sure he got Donny’s blessing, and he looked up all the other fantastic actors who have played Joseph in the past. Donny told him, “Go forth, young man! Do it, and have fun!”

To make ours different, our choreographer and director Andy Blankenbuehler, who is a Tony Award winner for a reason, has put his own stamp on the show. He’s made “Joseph,” which obviously has stood the test of time, even better. In addition, Andrew Lloyd Webber has given his blessing to update the music, to update and re-imagine the songs to make them more hip to bring them into 2014.

From the moment the show starts, you’re kind of thrown right into it. Every moment is filled with dance and lights and sets that are terrific and very visual. There are no throwaway moments throughout the entire production.

Q. For both you and Ace, “American Idol” had an important influence. Your thoughts on it now?

A. We did watch the first few episodes of this season. I think Harry Connick Jr. is a wonderful addition to the panel. As performers we’re excited to see performers judging performers. That’s why it’s great that they also have Jennifer Lopez back — plus we love Keith Urban. I came from the original three, Simon [Cowell], Paula [Abdul] and Randy [Jackson], and they helped make the show a hit. It’s Season 13. You’ve got to make it spicy and exciting and new. It’s a challenge to do that.

Q. What are your thoughts about being back in Chicago?

A. We love Chicago. We were just here last summer. We went to see “The Book of Mormon” the same night we went to a White Sox game. Ace grew up with [ex-White Sox player] Jesse Crain, so that was quite a day.

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