Playbill Playlist: Children of Eden Cast Picks Favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Including Wicked and Pippin

Playlist   Playbill Playlist: Children of Eden Cast Picks Favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Including Wicked and Pippin 54 Sings Children of Eden, an evening featuring music by Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, will be held March 24 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the concert, members of the cast pick their favorite Schwartz songs as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.

Concerts will be held at 7 PM and 9:30 PM.

Performers include Schwartz, Ashley Brown, Kelli Rabke, Darius De Haas, Trent Armand Kendall, Kyle Scatliffe and Scott Coulter.

Darius De Haas
Darius De Haas

The Broadway by the Year Chorus will also perform, including Emma Gannon Salomon, Samantha Owen, Meredith Lesley, Allison Posner, Trevor James, Felipe Tavolaro, Antonio Addeo, Morgan Smith, Stephen Orr, Katie O'Neill, Alexander Parrish, Amalia Tollas, Kyle Motsinger, Jenna Dallaco, Ryan Scoble, Jacob Carll, Dominique Solano, Emily Iaquinta, Madeline Hamlet, Amy Wheeler, Ricky Saunders, Hannah Solow, Sean Buhr and Elijah Caldwell.

According to 54 Below, "Children of Eden is one of the world's most performed musicals despite its never having been on Broadway. The story and score are among the most beloved of all time. 54 Below invites to you experience the glory of this incredible musical in a presentation produced and directed by Scott Coulter that features composer Stephen Schwartz and members of the original cast, including Kelli Rabke and Darius de Haas, performing songs including 'Stranger to the Rain,' 'Spark of Creation,' 'Lost in the Wilderness,' 'In Whatever Time We Have,' and more."

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.

Trent Armand Kendall: "Glory" from the original production of Pippin, performed by Ben Vereen. When I was very, very young Pippin aired on TV, and it was almost more than I could comprehend. It is no exaggeration that the singing and dancing literally blew my mind. The music and lyrics transported me. And, I'd never seen anything quite like Mr. Ben Vereen. When he sang "Glory" with such intensity and showmanship, I knew that I wanted to experience life on stage and hopefully feel something close to what he feels in that moment.

The fact that I have had my moments, and some of them even including time in the company of the genius of Stephen Schwartz, is reason to "REJOICE!" for sure.

Kyle Scatliffe: "Through Heaven's Eyes" from "Prince of Egypt." I didn't hear a lot of gospel music when I was a child, so "Through Heavens Eyes," and all of "Prince of Egypt" for that matter, was the first time I heard a bible story or any sort of theological story in a way that I could readily relate to. It's still my favorite animated soundtrack to this day.

Kelli Rabke: "Meadowlark" from The Baker's Wife. It's really hard for me to pick my favorite Stephen Schwartz song because he is my favorite composer, and I've got so many! The reason his music is my favorite to sing is that his songs always tell a story. There's a beginning, a middle and an end, not just verse, chorus, repeat. For me, the quintessential story song is "Meadowlark." It's an emotional journey every time I get the privilege to sing that song. Of course, this was also a really hard question to answer because my own song, "Stranger to the Rain" from Children of Eden, is also my favorite! I love to hear the "rain" in the accompaniment — I love that the rhythm of the song is unique — I love that it too tells a story and goes on a tremendous emotional journey: "This journey I'll be making now is one we all must make." It's a powerful and meaningful song, and I'm honored to have been able to originate that role at the Paper Mill Playhouse and record it on the American premiere recording!

Darius de Haas: "Morning Glow" from Pippin. I choose "Morning Glow." I love the melody, as it's simple but gently soaring at the same time. And, I love the optimism and hope in the lyric.

Scott Coulter: "For Good" from Wicked. Gah! One?!? We have to pick one?!? I have so many. I love "When You Believe" from "Prince of Egypt," and I know how much that song means to people all over the world. I know because they tell me after concerts often with tears in their eyes. And, I am astounded by the brilliance of "No Time At All" from Pippin. How is it possible that such a worldly wise and playfully profound lyric was written by someone just out of college? That blows me away. Every time I hear it I think, "He was 23 when he wrote that. Amazing." And, I have a special fondness for "Out There" from "Hunchback of Notre Dame," since I'm a bit of a misfit myself. If I HAD to choose just one though, I'd choose "For Good" from Wicked. I think it really is a perfect song — a simple melody with an emotionally honest lyric. We are very fortunate if we can point to the people who have made a difference in our lives and to be able to actually tell them so is an even greater gift. It has been my great, good fortune to perform that song many times in concert both with Stephen and, on occasion, FOR Stephen, and the lyric says exactly what I feel — because of him my life has truly been changed for good.

Mark Hatman: "Chanson" from The Baker's Wife. I choose "Chanson" from The Baker's Wife because of the harmonic progression in the bridge and the brilliant specificity of the lyric.

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