ARVADA, COLO. – The Arvada Center celebrates the holiday season with the regional premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s musical of epic proportions, “Children of Eden,” Dec. 3-29.
This exuberant musical was inspired by the book of Genesis, and while the characters may be familiar, this is not simply a retelling of those well-known stories. “Children of Eden” tells the age-old tale of parent-child relationships beginning with humanity’s first dysfunctional family (Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel) and going through Noah and his clan preparing for the flood by building an ark and loading the animals. The show is filled with universal truths about family, and is led by a Father who learns parenting lessons from his earthly offspring. With a score composer Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Pippin,” “Working,” “The Magic Show,” “The Baker’s Wife,” the upcoming “Wicked” and Disney’s “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Prince of Egypt”), calls his favorite, by far, this musical is a tender and moving human drama with a mix of music that goes beyond the traditional Broadway sound.
A musical of epic proportions, the Arvada Center’s production of “Children of Eden” boasts an ethnically diverse cast of 29, a set that both revolves and extends into the house, approximately 200 eye-popping costumes and over 40 individually hand-carved animals for Noah’s ark.
“Children of Eden” began with 11 songs Schwartz was commissioned to write for a youth group in Belleville, Ill. The full-length production premiered in London in 1991, went through further development, and received its U.S. premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 1997. Since that time, numerous regional theaters, community theaters, churches and schools have presented the show, though the Arvada Center’s production marks the first time “Children of Eden” has been performed in this part of the country.
Peter Flynn makes his Arvada Center directorial debut with “Children of Eden.” Flynn comes to Arvada via New York and has extensive directing experience across the country. Most recently, Flynn directed a concert performance of “Funny Girl” at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. This production, which was a benefit for the Actors’ Fund, featured a number of celebrity performers including Whoopi Goldberg, Bebe Neuwirth, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell, Ricki Lake, Ana Gasteyer and Peter Gallagher.
The cast of “Children of Eden” is the most racially diverse group to ever take the Arvada Center stage. The 29 performers, representing a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are led by three outstanding professionals: Arvada local Steven Bogard (Adam/Noah) who is now making a name for himself in New York City; Gabrielle Goyette (Eve/Mama Noah) who has appeared as Peaches in the pop music duo Peaches and Herb (“Reunited,” “Shake Your Groove Thing”); and James Alexander (Father) whose off Broadway credits include “A Brief History of White Music.”
“Children of Eden” runs Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Wednesday matinees at 1 p.m. (There will be no evening show on Dec. 24, and no performances on Dec. 25. Additional shows are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 1:00 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 27 at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m.) Ticket prices range from $24 to $36. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Arvada Center box office at 720-898-7200 or by going online to www.arvadacenter.org.
The Arvada Center’s production of “Children of Eden” is generously sponsored by Bank One and the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado. Media sponsorship is provided by The Denver Post and KOSI 101.
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is the metro area’s 12th largest cultural attraction, devoted to all aspects of the arts. Located two and a half miles north of Interstate 70 on Wadsworth, the Arvada Center is just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Denver. For more information call the Arvada Center box office at 720.898.7200 or visit the Center’s website at www.arvadacenter.org. For media requests, contact Kristin Stork, director of media relations, at 720.898.7272 or email@example.com.
Music and Lyrics Stephen Schwartz/ Book by John Caird
Production Staff: Kathy Kuehn (producer), Rod A. Lansberry (associate producer/scenic design), Peter Flynn (director), Fritz Stewart (musical director), Troy Rintala, (choreographer), Sally Burke (costume design), Jane Shafer (costume design), Gail Gober (lighting design), Rick Boot (sound design), Rebecca Shepard (properties), Heidi Echtenkamp (stage manager), Nick Cimyote (technical director), Dave Cimyotte (lead technician), Nan Young (assistant to the director), Keith Ewer (assistant musical director), Thomas Scott Wilkowski (assistant stage manager)
Cast: James Alexander (Father), Steven Bogard (Adam/Noah), Gabrielle Goyette (Eve/Mama Noah), Eduardo Rioseco (Cain/Japeth/Snake), Arthur W. Marks (Abel/Ham/Snake), Gregory Treco II (Seth/Shem/Snake), Jodi Kimura (Aphra/Snake/storyteller), Rebecca Kupka (Aysha/Snake/storyteller), Michelle Liu Coughlin (Yonah/Snake), Noah Carrillo (Young Abel/storyteller), Taylor Traughber (Young Cain/storyteller), Matt Gottlieb (Young Cain/storyteller), Tyriq Swingler (Young Abel/storyteller), Shelley McMillion Burl (storyteller), Susan Dawn Carson (storyteller), Lea L. Chapman (dancer/storyteller), Rob Costigan (storyteller), Isabelle Decauwert (storyteller), Jessica Dillan (dancer/storyteller), Brad Evans (storyteller), Kristin Hathaway (storyteller/Seth’s wife), Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck (dancer/storyteller), Michael A. Muniz (dancer/storyteller), Javier Munoz (storyteller), Loraine O’Donnell-Gray (storyteller), Larry Piscitelli (dancer/storyteller), Dante A. Sciarra (dancer/storyteller), Thaddeus Valdez (storyteller), Jason A. Veasey (storyteller)
Production photos and b-roll available Dec. 1.
Pre-publicity photos currently available upon request.