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Children of Eden
a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by John Caird (book) & Stephen Schwartz (songs)

COMPANY : Live Arts Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Norcross Presbyterian Church [WEBSITE]
ID# 4924

SHOWING : July 15, 2016 - July 31, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

From musical theatre greats Stephen Schwartz and John Caird comes a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith… not to mention centuries of unresolved family business!

Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: that “the hardest part of love… is letting go.”

Recommended for all audiences.

July 15-17 Norcross Presbyterian Church
3324 Medlock Bridge Rd
Norcross, GA

July 22-24 McKendree United Methodist Church
1570 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd
Lawrenceville, GA

July 29-31 Buford Presbyterian Church
1242 Buford Highway
Sugar Hill, GA


CAST & CREW LIST
Producer Meredith Jones
Music Director Becca Parker
Director Scott Piehler
Costume Design Andrea Hermitt
Lighting Design Cal Jones
Stage Manager/Choreographer D Norris
Seth/Shem John Bates
Aysha Bethany Bing
Cain/Japheth James H. Burke
Abel/Ham Jordan DeMoss
Yonah Shani Hawes
Eve/Mama Jordan Hermitt
Young Abel JJ Jones
Adam/Noah John King
Father Michael Parker
Aphra Blair Varney
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Genesis 1 - 9
by playgoer
Monday, July 18, 2016
3.5
"Children of Eden" is less a musical than an oratorio covering the first nine books of the first book of the Bible. Act one covers Adam & Eve and Cain & Abel; act two covers Noah and his family. There are huge vocal demands in the show, and it’s usually done by a cast of dozens. Live Arts Theatre is doing it with ten people (nine adults and one child).

Scott Piehler’s direction makes good use of the church sanctuary setting, using just one screen as its backstage area. There are a fair number of props and costume pieces (props by Chitralekha Sampath; costumes by Andrea Hermitt), but the flow is good. D. Norris’ choreography is not always flawlessly performed, but adds welcome movement to many choral numbers. Cal Jones’ lighting, while necessarily on the simple side, adds some rotating color effects. John Morris’ sound gives a pretty good balance between the vocals and the three-keyboard orchestra (augmented by other live musicians).

Each act pins the major vocal demands on three characters: in the first, Father, Adam, and Eve; in the second, Father, Noah, and Noah’s wife. Live Arts’ production uses the same three actors for each grouping. Michael Parker is Father throughout, lounging ever-present on a sofa far upstage when not taking an active part in the proceedings. John King plays Adam and Noah; Jordan Hermitt plays Eve and Noah’s wife. All have wonderful voices. When Messrs. Parker and King duet, the sound is lush and luscious ear candy.

The other members of the cast may not have obviously trained voices, but they all acquit themselves well. Bethany Bing (Seth’s wife/Aphra) has a pleasant presence, balanced by the more dynamic John Bates (Seth/Shem). Blair Varney (Aysha) and Jordan DeMoss (Abel/Ham) also work well together, with Mr. DeMoss the most able dancer of the group. JJ Jones, as Young Abel and a variety of other parts, adds youthful energy to the production. Shani Hawes (Yonah) has a quiet elegance that pairs wonderfully with the dramatic intensity of James H. Burke (Cain/Japheth).

I’m not terribly fond of "Children of God" as a show. Its emphasis on semi-operatic music is relieved by only one sprightly number, giving a serious Biblical veneer to the proceedings. The storytelling isn’t always particularly clear, presupposing foreknowledge of the Genesis story on the audience’s part. But, given any shortcomings in the material, Live Arts Theatre’s production is giving the show its due, with some moments of vocal magic. Becca Parker’s musical direction has produced a remarkably effective production of a musically complex undertaking. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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