Children of Eden

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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: 5/19/1998
  • Label: Rca Victor Broadway
  • UPC: 090266316526
  • Catalog Number: 63165
  • Sales rank: 4,709

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Act 1. Let There Be - William Solo (5:58)
  2. 2 Act 1. The Tree of Knowledge - William Solo (0:33)
  3. 3 Act 1. The Naming - William Solo (2:59)
  4. 4 Act 1. Grateful Children - Adrian Zmed (0:44)
  5. 5 Act 1. Father's Day - William Solo (1:53)
  6. 6 Act 1. Perfect - William Solo (2:26)
  7. 7 Act 1. The Spark of Creation - Stephanie Mills (3:06)
  8. 8 Act 1. The Pursuit of Excellence - Angela Garrison (3:45)
  9. 9 Act 1. The End of a Perfect Day - LaTonya Holmes (0:47)
  10. 10 Act 1. Childhood's End - William Solo (1:23)
  11. 11 Act 1. A World Without You - William Solo (2:56)
  12. 12 Act 1. The Expulsion - William Solo (1:56)
  13. 13 Act 1. The Wasteland - Trent Armand Kendall (3:00)
  14. 14 Act 1. The Spark of Creation (Reprise 1) - Stephanie Mills (1:21)
  15. 15 Act 1. Lost in the Wilderness - Hunter Foster (3:11)
  16. 16 Act 1. Close to Home - Johnson's Jazzers (3:25)
  17. 17 Act 1. A Ring of Stones - Hunter Foster (5:26)
  18. 18 Act 1. The Death of Abel - Stephanie Mills (0:43)
  19. 19 Act 1. The Mark of Cain - William Solo (2:13)
  20. 20 Act 1. Children of Eden - Stephanie Mills (3:29)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Act 2. Generations - Trent Armand Kendall (4:36)
  2. 2 Act 2. The Gathering Storm - William Solo (1:40)
  3. 3 Act 2. A Piece of Eight (4:30)
  4. 4 Act 2. The Return of the Animals (4:08)
  5. 5 Act 2. Noah's Lullaby - Adrian Zmed (1:11)
  6. 6 Act 2. Stranger to the Rain - Kelli Rabke (3:11)
  7. 7 Act 2. In Whatever Time We Have - Kelli Rabke (3:32)
  8. 8 Act 2. The Flood - William Solo (3:10)
  9. 9 Act 2. What Is He Waiting For? - Adrian Zmed (1:19)
  10. 10 Act 2. Sailor of the Skies - Kelli Rabke (1:35)
  11. 11 Act 2. The Spark of Creation (Reprise 2) - Stephanie Mills (1:00)
  12. 12 Act 2. The Hardest Part of Love - William Solo (3:32)
  13. 13 Act 2. Words of Doom (0:34)
  14. 14 Act 2. The Hour of Darkness (2:00)
  15. 15 Act 2. Ain't It Good? - Stephanie Mills (4:11)
  16. 16 Act 2. Precious Children - William Solo (0:39)
  17. 17 Act 2. In the Beginning (5:30)
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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
David Radin Mastering
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Powerful New Musical

    ''Children of Eden'' is one of most wonderful musicals I have ever heard...and seen produced on stage. I am very involved in the theatre scene at school and in my community and I have never seen a musical compare to this one. The music is powerful, touching, emotional, heart warming, and it will still get your fingers snapping in tempo! A MUST HAVE FOR ANY MUSICAL LOVER!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderfull fusion of music and story

    This recording proves once and for all that Broadway is not the be-all for Musical Theater. Mr Schwartz seamlessly fuses the diverse music styles into a moving and entertaining production. Thanks to the incredible production values of the Paper Mill this recording is well worth having.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews