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

COMPANY : Theatre Arts Guild
VENUE : Georgia Perimeter College - Marvin Cole Auditorium
ID# 4512

SHOWING : October 25, 2013 - November 03, 2013



From John Caird, who wrote "Candide", and Stephen Schwartz, who wrote "Godspell", "Pippin" and "Wicked", comes the enchanting musical "CHILDREN OF EDEN" - a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith – freely based on the stories in Genesis. It is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. The show leaves you with the bittersweet message: "the hardest part of love... is letting go."

Eve Adrien Zilber
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Old Testament "Godspell"
by playgoer
Sunday, November 3, 2013
The Theatre Arts Guild production of "Children of Eden" at Georgia Perimeter College presents the show on a set, designed by Lizz Dorsey, in which all the components (including props by Hannah Carey) have been recycled or repurposed (and which will be recycled or repurposed after the show too). It’s described as an urban playground, and consists largely of tires, with a few rolling wooden pieces. For this particular show, it works quite well. The stage is often so filled with people that a full set would crowd them unnecessarily.

The range of talent onstage spans the gamut from good to very good. The cast is largely students (from elementary to college age) making their stage debut with the company. There are some excellent voices, particularly Adrien Zilder (who is also a fine actor) as Eve and Nzinga Imani, who shakes the rafters in "Ain’t It Good?" as Mama Noah. In terms of vocal matching, the duet to "In Whatever Time We Have," as sung by Lucy Monge as Yonah and Samuel Nathan Lackey as Japheth, is the highlight. Robert Wayne brings a great voice and stage presence to his role as Father (God).

Sound design is generally good, but the powerful voice of Josua V. G. Montague overwhelms the sound system when, as Cain, he sings "Lost in the Wilderness." The full cast sounds good when massed, but there are a few sections in which pitchiness is heard when a partial chorus sings.

Mike Post’s lighting design adds variety to the proceedings, but I was surprised that the final scene did not contain a rainbow effect. Act two concerns Noah, and here God’s sign of a rainbow is restricted to a small rainbow banner floating behind a puppet dove. Director Sally J. Robertson could certainly have asked for a rainbow; she got stars and clouds in other parts of the show.

Nancye Quarles Hilley’s costumes also add variety. Noah and Mama Noah are dressed in African garb, the Father (God) in a tailored suit, while other principals get vaguely Biblical costumes. The ensemble portray the Tree of Knowledge, animals, and people, so their costumes are fairly basic. Still, all in all, it’s a good-looking production.

The seven-piece orchestra, led by Patrick Hutchison, is wonderful throughout. While this is very much a college-level production onstage, it’s more professional in the pit.

"Children of Eden" takes on Adam and Eve in act one and Noah in act two, condensing the Bible’s book of Genesis into two story arcs. It’s a fairly serious affair, filled with Stephen Schwartz’s power ballads. John Caird’s book ties it all together, but it’s clear that this is a property not particularly suited for Broadway (where the earnestness of the story would show poorly against the comedy of the same material covered in "The Apple Tree" and "Two by Two") nor for community theatre (where the vocal requirements would tax the capabilities of most amateur casts). Georgia Perimeter College is showing it to advantage, and more importantly is giving students there the opportunity to stretch themselves and hone their talents. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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