SEATTLE -- Seattle Civic Light Opera, which specializes in family-oriented musical fare, has had to dig a bit in the past few seasons for new works to balance the more standard fare it usually offers.
The 1996 Christmas offering was the Northwest premiere of Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo's musical Wonderful Life, which has yet to receive a Broadway production.
And the company's upcoming production is another Northwest premiere, Children of Eden, the musical which was recently well received in a production by New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, and has been recorded.
Children of Eden, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell) and a book by John Caird (Les Miserables), is an adaptation of the first nine books of the Bible, focusing on the Creation and the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah and the Flood.
The original London production met with tepid critical response and was a box-office failure. Schwartz has extensively reworked the show since its initial London outing, and most of the changes implemented for the Paper Mill Playhouse incarnation will remain in place for the CLO production.
Rich Gray, best known as creator of the annual Forbidden Xmas musical revues at Cabaret de Paris, is the director and the co-choreographer with Crystal Dawn Munkers. Musical direction is by Kim Douglass.
Featured in the 35-member cast are Don Collins, Mike Mendiola, Beth DeVries, Will Mc Garrahan, Francis King, Terry Thiele, Shana Penningron, Douglas Steves, Chris Clay and Mark Rabe.
Children of Eden opens Feb. 12 and runs through Mar. 7. Seattle CLO is located at 11051-34th Ave NE at 115th NE in Lake City. For tickets, $14-$18, call (206) 363-2809.
-- By David-Edward Hughes