'Book of Mormon' actor tackles colorful Biblical character

Josh Daniel and Matthew Teague Miller talk about two things they have in common -- their alma mater and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" -- on the Clinton Showboat Tuesday.Winona Whitaker/Clinton Herald

CLINTON – While Clinton Area Showboat Theatre Artistic Director Matthew Teague Miller is thrilled to be directing a very familiar play, he's also thrilled to be directing a fellow alumnus of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in the lead role.

Josh Daniel was "a couple of years" behind Miller at CCM, the director joked before rehearsal for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" Tuesday. To have a fellow CCM graduate in the role of Joseph only adds to the emotional connection that Miller feels to the show, he said.

A current CCM student, Nick Berninger, is performing at the Showboat this season as well, Miller said, making three generations of CCM students among this summer's professional acting company.

Josh Daniel is a guest artist with the Showboat, here for one production only. Originally from New Orleans, Daniel is now based out of New York.

"I grew up doing theater," Daniel said. "My mom said I sang my ABCs in opera. So I've sort of always been performing."

Following his graduation from CCM in 2013, Daniel showcased in New York. "[It's] like a 45-minute show... where you sort of sell yourself," Daniel said.

He sang a couple of songs -- one from the musical comedy "Book of Mormon." He was offered an audition for that show and was accepted for a national tour.

Daniel toured for two years with the show, performed with the Broadway company, and toured again for another two years, playing all the roles except the two principals during that time. Daniel jokes that he completed two two-year Mormon missions.

Daniel will make his Showboat debut with "Joseph."

"[It's] probably been 5 years since I've done summer stock," Daniel said. He likes the atmosphere of living and working together, becoming a family. "It's a team experience."

Daniel said he was thrilled to find, when he agreed to come to Clinton, that a friend from his performing arts high school would be here as well. Courtney Kattengell, is a choreographer and director for the Showboat this year.

This isn't Daniel's first go-around with "Joseph."

"About a year ago I played Benjamin at ACT of Connecticut," Daniel said.

"I think Joseph gets a bad rap sometimes," Daniel said. People think he's cocky. "I think he's really earnest.

"There's no salt. I think he just has really big aspirations," and in the show he's "faced with his first real obstacles," Daniel said. The audience watches Joseph come to terms with that.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens at the Showboat Theatre Saturday with shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The production will run through July 21. Tickets are available at the box office. Call 563-242-6760 for information or to purchase tickets.