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Lyricist sings praises of Osmond's `Joseph'

Finally, after five years, lyricist Tim Rice was able to catch Donny Osmond in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

During the post-production reception held at Kingsbury Hall Tuesday evening, Rice was full of praise and smiles."It was a wonderful production," he said. "It's basically the same show as all the versions, but this is one of the best I've seen. It certainly stacks up.

"I also got a good laugh in," he said with a good-natured smile. "I haven't been able to laugh at a whole lot for a while. And it was a pleasure to laugh at one of my own shows."

Golden Globe-award-winner Rice, who wrote the lyrics to the production, flew to Salt Lake City from London, via Los Angeles, to honor an invitation from Osmond that was proposed more than a half-decade ago.

The artists' paths crossed at the opening-night reception of the Broadway version of "Beauty and the Beast."

"Tim came up to me and said, `I just have to see your (show),' " Osmond said. "Little did I know it would take five years for us to finally get our schedules together. But I'm glad he's here. This is an honor."

Rice, a very personable man, also appeared honored to be in Salt Lake City.

"I love it here," he said during a speech at the Kingsbury Hall reception. "I went skiing today and did pretty well. I think I made it to intermediate II. Next time I'll get my poles.

"I do, however, want to say this," he said addressing the cast. "You all are so good, I'm sure I'll see you in the future in other shows."

Then to Osmond, he said, "I apologize for taking so long to finally see the show. But it was worth the wait."

"There was a lot of energy and a bit of apprehension tonight backstage," Osmond said during an interview during the reception. "It was so exciting.

"Tim came backstage during the intermission," Osmond said. "We had a great conversation and he gave me some insight on the lyrics. So when I went out for the second act, I had a better idea of what he was trying to say.

"I said, `So you waited until I had only 20 more performances left to clarify those meanings?" Osmond joked.

Rice said this was one of the few productions where he could hear all the lyrics clearly.

"There are even some soundtracks where the verses would get lost," he said. "But I heard everything tonight and that was very nice."

While the live performance of "Joseph" with Osmond is ending for good on March 7, plans for a full-length movie are confirmed. Filming was originally suppose to begin shortly after the Utah performances - which served as rehearsals for the movie. But shooting has been delayed for a few months which put it smack in the middle of Osmond's scheduled return to a talk/variety show with his sister Marie.

Osmond said, however, the movie and TV show would not interfere with each other.

"I just talked with the movie producers and they said they would only need me for two or three hours a day," Osmond said. "So I'm not worried."