Theatre and Dance to Present "Children of Eden"

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: October 10, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Children Of Eden" Nov. 8-11 and Nov. 15-18 in the Drama Theatre of the Center for the Arts on the North (Amherst) Campus. The production is sponsored by WBFO 88.7 FM, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by UB.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and based on the book by John Caird, "Children Of Eden" uses the story of Genesis to examine the age-old conflict between parents and children. Based freely on the stories of Adam, Eve, Noah, their children and the "Father," "Children Of Eden" offers a frank, heartfelt, tuneful, fun, charming and often humerous look at the pleasures and pains of parenting. The show also includes the world's first eco-disaster, The Flood, and unusual spins on many Biblical characters, from Eve to Cain to the multi-gender ensemble that makes up the Snake.

One of the few new theatrical composers and lyricists to emerge in the 1970s, Schwartz studied at the Carnegie-Mellon University, where he majored in drama, and at Juilliard. In 1971, Schwartz had a smash hit with his rock-pop score for the off-Broadway "biblical" musical "Godspell," which ran for more than 2,500 performances in New York, and featured the hit song "Day By Day". During the early '70s, Schwartz enjoyed more success with "Pippin" (1972), featuring the song, "Magic To Do," and "The Magic Show" (1974). Each show ran for nearly five years in New York.

Recently, Schwartz turned his attention to the screen, and collaborated profitably with Alan Menken on the Walt Disney animated features "Pocahontas" (1995) and "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" (1996). For Pocahontas, the duo won Oscars for "Original Musical or Comedy Score" and "Original Song." Schwartz also was given an ASCAP award for Most Performed Motion Picture Song. They also were nominated for their work on "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame." In 1999 Schwartz won another Oscar for his song, "When You Believe," from the DreamWorks' animated bible epic, "The Prince Of Egypt." In 1997, he released a compelling album on which he sang all non-show songs, with the exception of "The Hardest Part Of Love," from Children Of Eden.

"Children Of Eden" will be directed and choreographed by Lynne Kurdziel-Formato with musical direction by Michael Hake, and will feature an all-student cast.

Tickets for "Children Of Eden" are $12 for the general public and $5 for UB students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays in the Center for the Arts Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's and Movies Plus. To charge tickets, call 852-5000. In Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For general information call 645-ARTS.