Theater: Notre Dame takes a stroll through ‘Eden’

Ask any parent — the hardest part of love is letting go. “Children of Eden,” a Bible-themed show depicting the age-old conflict between parents and children, is being presented by Notre Dame de Namur University’s Department of Music and Vocal Arts in April.

The musical is by “Godspell” and “Pippin” mastermind Stephen Schwartz, whose score blends pop, folk, rock, reggae, gospel and choral sounds. John Caird’s libretto is taken from the Book of Genesis.

Act 1 highlights the story of Adam and Eve, together with their children, Cain and Abel. Act 2 features Noah and his family dealing with the flood.

“This show is a rock concert in the form of a musical with a wonderful contemporary, tuneful, rhythmic score,” says Debra Lambert, chair of the music and vocal arts department at NDNU, who is the vocal director of the show. “It speaks to all of us with the choices we make, the things we leave behind, and how we make our own future,”

Greg Fritsch directs; Dottie Lester White choreographs. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 4-5 and 11-12 and 2 p.m. April 13 at NDNU Theatre, 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont. Admission is $10 to $20. Call (650) 508-3729 or visit www.boxoffice@ndnu.edu.

PIED PIPER MUSICAL

“Lucky Duck” is a new spin on the old “Ugly Duckling” story. The show, presented by the Pied Piper Players, comes to the Bayside Center for Performing Arts in San Mateo next month.

The musical, which had its world premiere locally at TheatreWorks in 2000 (under the name “Everything’s Ducky”) is by Bill Russell, Jeffrey Hatcher and Henry Krieger, who’s best known for his score for the Broadway hit “Dreamgirls.”

The story centers on Serena, an ugly duck who wants to become a singing diva. When she escapes from the farm, she meets up with animals who help her to seek her goal.

For Russell, the show addresses the question of what happens to the odd duck after she blossoms into a lovely creature, noting that a need to be defined by looks — whether good or bad — remains a narcissistic quality.

Pied Piper’s production manager is Paula Spaulding, the music director is Rick Reynolds, and the artistic director is Leslie Stupple. Performances are April 11-13 and the April 18-20. Tickets are $16 general and $12 for seniors and children younger than 13. The theater is at 2025 Kehoe Ave. For information, call (650) 992-7433 or visit piedpiperplayers.org.

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