A friend and I ventured out to the Astoria Performing Arts Center on Thursday night to take in their production of much buzzed about “Children of Eden.” I was unfamiliar with the show itself but being familiar with other Stephen Schwartz’s scores, I knew what I was in for. The first act tells the story of Adam and Eve and the second is the story of Noah.
The set was simplistic, yet impressive, by Michael P. Kramer; it was built through the audience so the audience was part of the show. Aside from one or two voices, the cast was immensely talented, especially the “Adam” and “Eve,” played by Joseph Spieldenner and Emmy Raver-Lampman respectively.
The biggest mention must be made for the director, Tom Wojtunik. The smooth scene transitions and the easy flow of a twenty person cast in such a small space is not an easy feat, but Mr. Wojtunkik has made it appear just that. I was most impressed with his transformation of the theatre into the Garden of Eden and from there onto the hill where the Tree of Knowledge was. I was also perplexed as to how they were going to bring out multiple pairs of numerous animals for Noah’s Arc, but this company accomplished it in such a creative and simple way that it’s worth the trip to Astoria alone.
Children of Eden played through May 29th. For more information about APAC, please visit their website.
(This production was so stellar, in fact, that I the two people in front of me at La Cage Aux Folles were gushing about it!)