Children of Eden is loosely based on the Book of Genesis and tells the story from the Creation until right after the Flood. The show exams the age-old conflict between parents and children. Act I tells the story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel, and Act II deals with Noah and the Flood.
The story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel
The musical begins in darkness. As the chorus of Storytellers describes the beginning of the world when Father created the heavens, candles are lit around the stage. Father comes on and declares, “Let there be light.” In the song, “Let There Be,” Father builds the world based on his dream. At the end of the song, he creates Adam and Eve and gives them the Garden of Eden to live in. Eden is a perfect place.
Director Alane Schultz confidently embraces the pageant-style musical in CenterPoint Theatre’s solid production of “Children of Eden.” Under musical direction by Julie Waite, the voices are strikingly beautiful and contribute much to the swiftly paced staging.
While burdened with a floor-length Nehru jacket and a lighted staff, Daniel Frederickson dignifies the role of Father, the show’s God figure. He is blessed with an impressive, rich baritone voice that fills the theater with magnificent tones. Frederickson anchors the production with his powerful stage presence.
“Children of Eden” tells a thought-provoking version of the book of Genesis which doesn’t quite match the one you were likely taught in church, focusing on answering the question of whether the freedom choices bring is worth all the pain they can cause.
That struggle is made vividly real by the musical’s fantastic songs, all of which were written by Steven Schwartz. This is the same man who wrote the music for “Pocahontas,” “Wicked,” and “Enchanted,” and the songs here are just as catchy, soaring and easy to sing along with as his best from any of those shows.
The entire cast performs them beautifully, imbuing them with all the charm and emotion they deserve. Cameron Kapetanov, in the Monday night opening cast, had a suitably powerful voice as Father, the musical’s representation of God. Lindsea Garside beautifully communicates the wisdom and heartbreak of both Eve and Mama Noah, while Nate Waite brings some innocence, yearning and pathos to the troubled characters of Cain and Japeth. Nate Mikami, as Adam and Noah, and Tyler Palo, as Abel and Ham, were excellent as well.
“If you already know and love the Old Testament-inspired musical “Children of Eden,” you will be impressed by the current production at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre.
The show, which opened Monday night, featured strong singing voices, convincing character portrayals, playful costumes and an elegantly simple set with a few clever tricks built in.
The Stephen Schwartz musical tells a universal story about parents, their expectations for their offspring, their children’s longing for independence, and parents’ ultimate disappointment.”
Alane Schultz is once again proud to be a part of the CenterPoint family. Alane’s legacy with our theatre began in 2000 at RMT as a cast member in West Side Story. She played double duty on our stage in 2003 as Fiona in Brigadoon and the shows’ choreographer. She choreographed RMT’s 2005 production of Fiddler on the Roof. She began directing for our theatre at RMT in 2006 with West Side Story. Her directorial credits include, Jekyll & Hyde, 2008, and Evita, 2009, at Rodgers Memorial, as well as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and now Children of Eden at CPT. Alane is a new mom and wants to thank her patient and loving husband, Peter, for allowing her to be gone in the evenings to be a part of this life changing show and cast. She also wants to thank her Bonneville High School family, the students and Mishy Kirby for keeping the theatre love alive. One last thanks for support and constant inspiration to her parents, Dale & Sondra Schofield, Kristi Shaw, Ashley Carlson, Cameron Kapetanov, Trish Child, Taylor Wilson, Ken McEntire, Megan Cash, Michelle Peterson, Glenn Linder and John Cook. Alane hopes her passion for this show can be seen on the stage tonight and that you will add it to your list of favorites after seeing this production.
Children of Eden Director Alane Schultz shares her thoughts on our upcoming production.
* The MWF cast will perform in the matinee on July 12.
* The TThS cast will perform in the matinee on July 19.
Brittany Bowman Anderson
NEWS AND UPDATES
“Utah has such a heavy religious population,” Kapetanov said. “I am hoping they will be able to see the title and not judge it as not being from their beliefs. It has nothing to do with the doctrine of whatever religion you are. It is really the story of families, second chances, forgiveness and understanding that whatever path you want, you can go down. You can choose for yourself.”
Before Stephen Schwartz wrote for “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Enchanted,” along with the hugely successful “Wicked,” the composer-lyricist crafted a little show called “Children of Eden.”
While the musical may not be as popularly known as his other works, “Children of Eden” is “the work of which I am most proud,” Schwartz said in a Q-and-A on his website. “I think it is my best score musically.”
Alane Schultz, director of the CenterPoint Legacy Theatre production, wholeheartedly agrees.