Children of Eden

Children of Eden

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Used to be, in the world of stage musicals, there were hits and flops. Hits were shows that opened on Broadway and ran long enough to turn a profit; flops were everything else. But that was back in the days when there were a lot of Broadway shows, they didn't cost as much money to produce, and money was easier to raise. Today, things are much more complicated: Shows… See more details below

Overview

Used to be, in the world of stage musicals, there were hits and flops. Hits were shows that opened on Broadway and ran long enough to turn a profit; flops were everything else. But that was back in the days when there were a lot of Broadway shows, they didn't cost as much money to produce, and money was easier to raise. Today, things are much more complicated: Shows don't even have to open on Broadway to be successful. The greater risks and opportunities, however, tend to eliminate finality. In a sense, there are no flops anymore, only shows that haven't been sufficiently revised and reproduced enough times to become hits yet. Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the songs for Godspell and collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on Mass, returned to religious subject matter with the musical Children of Eden, which ran for only 103 performances in London in 1991, though it produced a cast album. Used to be, that would have meant it was a flop. Instead, Schwartz and librettist John Caird continued to work on the show. For another six years. Then it was staged at the Paper Mill Playhouse, a prominent regional theater in New Jersey, for six weeks in 1997, with a cast including Broadway and recording star Stephanie Mills. It is the cast of this production that has recorded this two-CD set. (There is also a one-CD highlights version.) The hope, of course, is that this will lead to further productions and maybe even to Broadway. Children of Eden is a musical retelling of the Book of Genesis, specifically, creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel (Act I), and Noah and the Ark (Act II). Schwartz has experience musicalizing the New Testament, but the Old, while inherently dramatic, is also episodic and more intractable. But then, in a move that may make church productions dicey, Schwartz and Caird have introduced some variations into the stories. Their God often sounds more like a secular father than a holy one: Adam and Eve seem to discover sex before eating the apple; after Eve eats the apple, God tries to persuade Adam to stay in Eden; and Cain discovers "A Ring of Stones" that sounds a lot like Stonehenge and suggests some other god may have staged another creation nearby. For all that, the plot generally follows the Biblical versions, sometimes told in choral parts and sometimes in solo songs that mix traditional theater music with elements of pop
ock, jazz, gospel, and Caribbean music. The result is often pleasant, but rarely engaging, and it's hard to believe that theater professionals would devote so much time and effort to material that, in the end, remains what it always has been, with or without music. Maybe church groups will be able to overlook the discrepancies and use the work for youthful productions (it has a cast of 65). But will this non-flop ever be a hit on Broadway? Don't hold your breath.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/19/1998
Label:
Rca Victor Broadway
UPC:
0090266316526
catalogNumber:
63165
Rank:
8191

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Act 1. Let There Be  - William Solo
  2. Act 1. The Tree of Knowledge  - William Solo
  3. Act 1. The Naming  - William Solo
  4. Act 1. Grateful Children  - Adrian Zmed
  5. Act 1. Father's Day  - William Solo
  6. Act 1. Perfect  - William Solo
  7. Act 1. The Spark of Creation  - Stephanie Mills
  8. Act 1. The Pursuit of Excellence  - Angela Garrison
  9. Act 1. The End of a Perfect Day  - LaTonya Holmes
  10. Act 1. Childhood's End  - William Solo
  11. Act 1. A World Without You  - William Solo
  12. Act 1. The Expulsion  - William Solo
  13. Act 1. The Wasteland  - Trent Armand Kendall
  14. Act 1. The Spark of Creation (Reprise 1)  - Stephanie Mills
  15. Act 1. Lost in the Wilderness  - Hunter Foster
  16. Act 1. Close to Home  -  Johnson's Jazzers
  17. Act 1. A Ring of Stones  - Hunter Foster
  18. Act 1. The Death of Abel  - Stephanie Mills
  19. Act 1. The Mark of Cain  - William Solo
  20. Act 1. Children of Eden  - Stephanie Mills

Disc 2

  1. Act 2. Generations  - Trent Armand Kendall
  2. Act 2. The Gathering Storm  - William Solo
  3. Act 2. A Piece of Eight
  4. Act 2. The Return of the Animals
  5. Act 2. Noah's Lullaby  - Adrian Zmed
  6. Act 2. Stranger to the Rain  - Kelli Rabke
  7. Act 2. In Whatever Time We Have  - Kelli Rabke
  8. Act 2. The Flood  - William Solo
  9. Act 2. What Is He Waiting For?  - Adrian Zmed
  10. Act 2. Sailor of the Skies  - Kelli Rabke
  11. Act 2. The Spark of Creation (Reprise 2)  - Stephanie Mills
  12. Act 2. The Hardest Part of Love  - William Solo
  13. Act 2. Words of Doom
  14. Act 2. The Hour of Darkness
  15. Act 2. Ain't It Good?  - Stephanie Mills
  16. Act 2. Precious Children  - William Solo
  17. Act 2. In the Beginning

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stephanie Mills   Vocals,Track Performer
Adrian Zmed   Vocals,Track Performer
Annie Bass   Cello
Peter Grant   Drums
Dana Greenberg   Vocals
Johnny O'Neal   Keyboards
Steve Benson   Guitar,Mandolin
David Strauss   Guitar,Mandolin
Vicki Carter   Keyboards
Diane Foster   Vocals
Richard Heckman   Woodwind
Dave Greenberg   Vocals
Dennis Masuzzo   Bass
Jim Weaver   Vocals,Track Performer
Darius de Haas   Vocals,Track Performer
Emy Baysic   Vocals,Track Performer
Capathia Jenkins   Vocals,Track Performer
William Solo   Vocals,Track Performer
Danny Kosarin   Conductor
Dan McMillan   Percussion
Vincent Delia   Vocals
Kelli Rabke   Vocals
Sheetal Gandhi   Vocals
Hunter Foster   Vocals
Barry Cavanagh   Vocals
Jimmy Smaqula   Track Performer
Bart Shatto   Vocals,Track Performer
Cheryl Allison   Vocals,Track Performer
LaTonya Holmes   Vocals,Track Performer
Charles Bergell   Vocals,Track Performer
Angela Garrison   Vocals,Track Performer
Shawn Emamjomeh   Vocals
Michael Hunsaker   Vocals
Dena Risha   Vocals
Steve Hogle   Vocals
Zina Goldrich   Keyboards
John Scott Schultz   Woodwind
LaTonya James   Vocals
Stephen Benson   Mandolin
Yu Asuka   Vocals
Jason Kus   Vocals
Michael Hunsaker   Vocals
Russell Aaron Fischer   Vocals
Christopher Windom   Vocals
Matthew Francisco   Vocals
Rebecca Dolan   Vocals
Enders Groff   Vocals
Dian Foster   Vocals
Erica L. Cenci   Vocals
Kassandra Hazard   Vocals
Frank Donovan Tamez   Vocals
Donna Lively Clark   Vocals
Jon Jon Briones   Vocals
Vincent D'Elia   Vocals
Jimmy Smagula   Vocals
Ann Bass   Cello
John F. Schultz   Woodwind
John O'Neil   Keyboards
Steven Benson   Guitar
Casey Lee Ross   Vocals
Dina Jo Sison   Vocals
Shawn Leggett   Vocals
Rori Brooke Wolfe   Vocals
Ann Teehan-Mendoker   French Horn
Trent Armand Kendall   Vocals,Track Performer
Jessica Waxman   Vocals
Therese Panicali   Vocals
James Anthony Johnson   Vocals,Track Performer
Gary Kilmer   Vocals
Dena Risha   Vocals
Shawn Emamjomeh   Vocals
Paul Iacono   Vocals
Jeffrey Songco   Vocals
Cassandra Mendez   Vocals
Lynnette E. Marrero   Vocals
Chris Frascella   Vocals
Susan Pfau   Vocals
Beth Roe   Vocals
Robyn Lee   Vocals
Kristopher Hazard   Vocals
Siena A. Nuzzi   Vocals
Alexa Petronaci   Vocals
Charles Paashaus   Woodwind
Daniel McMillan   Percussion
Yu Asuka   Vocals
Vicki Carter   Keyboards
Therese Panicali   Vocals
Susan Pfau   Vocals
Steve Hogle   Vocals
Stephen Benson   Guitar,Mandolin
Siena a. Nuzzi   Vocals
Shawn Leggett   Vocals
Russell Aaron Fischer   Vocals
Rori Brooke Wolfe   Vocals
Robyn Lee   Vocals
Richard Heckman   Woodwind
Rebecca Dolan   Vocals
Paul S. Iacono   Vocals
Matthew Francisco   Vocals
Lynnette E. Marrero   Vocals
Kristopher Hazard   Vocals
Kassandra Hazard   Vocals
Jonjon Briones   Vocals
Jessica Waxman   Vocals
Jeffrey Songco   Vocals
Jason Kus   Vocals
Gary Kilmer   Vocals
Frank Donovan Tamez   Vocals
Erica L. Cenci   Vocals
Enders Groff   Vocals
Dina Jo Sison   Vocals
Dian Foster   Vocals
Dena Risha   Vocals
David Strauss   Guitar,Mandolin
Dana Greenberg   Vocals
Christopher Windom   Vocals
Chris Frascella   Vocals
Charles Paashaus   Woodwind
Cassandra Mendez   Vocals
Casey Lee Ross   Vocals
Beth Roe   Vocals
Ann Teehan-Mendoker   French Horn
Ann Bass   Cello
Alexa Petronaci   Vocals
Donna Clark   Vocals
Shawn Emamjomeh   Vocals
Michael Kinser   Vocals
John Schultz   Woodwind
John O'Neil   Keyboards
Dennis Masuzzo   Bass

Technical Credits

Scott Johnson   Art Direction
Bruce Coughlin   Orchestration
Martin Erskine   Programming,Orchestration,Vocal Editing
Bill Rosenfield   Liner Notes
Glen Marchese   Engineer
Jeff Krassner   Composer
Paul J. Falcone   Programming,Vocal Editing
John Caird   Book
John R. Angier   Programming,Vocal Editing
Stephen Schwartz   Lyricist,Producer
Danny Kosarin   Producer
Scott Johnson   Art Direction
John Angler   Programming,Vocal Editing
Scott Albert Johnson   Art Direction
Charles Lisanby   Concept
John Angier   Programming,Vocal Editing

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