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Posted: April 22, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Children of Eden musical good for the whole family

It still amazes me that in our area there is a community theater that is as spacious and well run as any professional theater in a major city. Social Circle is the home of this special theater. It's homey and comfortable. It's called, of course, the Social Circle Theater.

This past Sunday my wife Molly and I went to the theater to see a special play called "Children of Eden," written by Stephen Swartz the creator of "Wicked" and "Godspell." I have to admit that I didn't quite know what to expect in a two-act play that covered the first of the Bible and in particular the story of Adam and Eve and Noah. I was more than pleasantly surprised; "Children of Eden" had 39 original songs. Some were soulful and some were plain hand-clapping foot stompers.

The play itself deals with the many aspects of family life. It brought home the fact that the core of a family was no different in early biblical times than now. There were love and disappointments. The message clearly showed the fatherly love, anger and the forgiveness of God.

Director Ricky Hall made good use of his cast, from little children whose enthusiasm could not help but make you smile to an enthusiastic group of adults who really got into this play. Some of the songs were hard to sing, but Music Director Patty Joiner did an excellent job bringing out the best in her cast.

Blayne Hiner's interpretation of God was right on; his enthusiastic singing of God's joy and rage left no doubt of the emotions of God. Clay Fallin who played both Adam and Noah was more than up for the task. His interpretation of Adam and Noah showed them to be a slight bit wimpy. Joy Claus showed good range as she played both Eve and Noah's wife. Her interpretation of Eve was exactly how you would imagine the Mother of man would be, dominant and tempting. Cailey Forgay who played Yonah the wife of Japheth was superb.

I have to admire producer Beth Wells for taking this play on. It was and is a stretch for non-professional actors but the cast responded to this challenge. Although it was not a true Broadway performance, it was good family entertainment that showed determination and heart.

I would recommend you take your whole family to see this play. It's well worth the $12 ticket for adults and $10 for seniors. There are three more performances: Friday, April 24, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 25, at 3 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, at 6 p.m. Call (770) 464-2269 for reservations or for more information.


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