You know how it is when you're talking to a friend, just playing what-if and exploring novel ways of approaching something familiar?
And you know how that sort of idle brainstorming usually ends in nothing but a few laughs?
That's not the way things have worked out for Terrence Williams, who after several years has found a way to put a long-ago theatrical brainstorming session to good use.
Williams is directing Stage Door Entertainment's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which opened this week as part of Spring Mountain Ranch State Park's Super Summer Theatre series.
But don't trek westward expecting to see your standard-issue version of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical. Think, instead, of the biblical story of Joseph set to a contemporary rock beat.
That's because the production will feature a score that has been rearranged for a five-piece rock band, rather than the usual orchestra. And, throughout the play, audiences will notice definite other signs of a classic rock vibe.
"The little back story of this concept was, this is actually the first show I've directed twice," Williams says.
The first time Williams directed a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was around 2000, in Georgia, for which Jameson Boyce served as musical director.
It was "a big, traditional 'Joseph' with biblical flowing robes and a 13-piece orchestra," Williams says.
However, Williams notes that the play's music - the musical grew out of a short piece written and first performed in the late '60s - does have "the potential to feel a little dated at times."
"So, we'd be rehearsing, and Jamie would say, 'This song could sound so much cooler than this,' and he'd play the same music, just in a heavier style. We'd think that's funny and laugh about it, but, of course, we didn't do it."
Fast forward to 2012, when Williams found himself again directing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for Super Summer Theatre. Williams gave Boyce a call.
"It's been years since we worked together," Williams says. "I said, 'Hey, remember when we used to mess around (with the songs) on the piano? What if we actually did that?' And the idea was born."
In addition to contemporary music and costuming, a classic rock vibe also will be seen in other aspects of the production. Take, for instance, the patriarch Jacob's rock 'n' roll makeover.
"For us, Jacob is an older gentleman, but certainly with a well-known status," Williams says. "And, kind of fitting in with classic rock, Jacob becomes a member of (ZZ) Top, with long hair and a cowboy hat and glasses."
In addition to the ZZ Top homage, "there are homages to a number of rock names, but I don't want to give them away," Williams says.
Williams says both he and his cast are "having a lot of fun" with the rock 'n' roll makeover they're giving the popular musical. And, he adds "we're still telling the classic Joseph story."
"It's different, but it's very energetic," Williams says. "I think the audience will have a great time."
Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@review journal.com or 702-383-0280.