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"Children of Eden," April 4-13

Belmont, CA, March 27, 2008 — “Children of Eden,” a joyous musical celebration about parents, children, faith, and centuries of unresolved family business will astound audiences at Notre Dame de Namur University Theatre, April 4-13.

Freely based on the Book of Genesis, “Children of Eden” appeals to both religious and non-religious audiences with a melodic, energetic score consisting of pop, folk, rock, reggae, gospel, Broadway, and powerful choral styles. Act I begins with the Creation story of Adam and Eve, begging the question of how it all began and where do we go from here. Act II follows with the story of Noah and the Flood. The concert’s powerful message brings to light that “the hardest part of love… is letting go.”

Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz of “Godspell” and “Pippin” fame, book by John Caird of “Les Miserables,” and produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. The ambitious musical appeared in London’s West End in 1991 for a short time and then became very popular with community theaters throughout the world as it touches upon everyday themes of love, family, anger, and religion.

"After all the great songs are sung, after all the dancing, lights, and smoke, these lyrics from the final number remain: 'Our hands can choose to drop the knife, Our hearts can choose to stop the hating, For every moment of our life Is The Beginning,'" said Director Greg Fritsch, emphasizing the show’s inspirational message.

Debra Lambert, NDNU’s Chair of Music and Vocal Arts, said the entertaining production offers something for everyone. “This show is a wonderful mix of music, theater, and rock and roll--Greg Fritsch has staged it as a "rock concert" that tells a story, all about family, letting go, and forgiveness."

“Children of Eden” features a cast of 26 NDNU students along with students from local schools. The production staff is comprised of NDNU Department of Theatre and Dance faculty members including Scenic Design by R. Dutch Fritz, Costume Design by Katherine Mills, Lighting Design by Will Springhorn, Musical Supervision by Steven Sanders and Choreography by Dottie Lester White. Theatre Arts students John Ballas and Kirk Pierron serve respectively as the production Stage Manager, and Sound Designer.

The cast includes Michael D. Reed as Father; David Greenbaum as Adam; Alanna Pinell and Laurie Nellesen as Eve; Vanessa Bautista, Kelly Jean Hammond, Shannon Kilpatrick, Nicholas Patton, Daniel Lloyd Pias as the Snake; Tanner Chung as Young Cain; Timothy John Rhein as Noah; Francesca Camus as Mama Noah; Shannon Kilpatrick as Yonah; Nicholas Patton as Japheth; John Paul Manfredi as Shem; Kristopher Hauck as Ham; Kelly Jean Hammond as Aysha; and Claire Karoly as Aphra.

Storytellers and soloists are Kimi Carey, Taylor Chung, Alexis Flores, Alina Fontanilla, Beth Guido, Jonelle Macapinlac, Anna Lisa Mattias, Felicity McCollum, and Neal Pascua.

Performances are scheduled April 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m., April 13 at 2 p.m., and a special preview performance April 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 general admission, students and seniors $10. The NDNU Theatre is located on the University campus at 1500 Ralston Avenue in Belmont. For more information, call the Box Office at (650) 508-3456 or visit concerts@ndnu.edu.