Director Anthony Langford described Cedar Street Theatre’s production of the “Children of Eden” musical as a religious story told from a non-religious point-of-view.
“It’s all about parenting. It’s all about the mistakes we make as human beings, which is where the book of Genesis comes into play,” he said.
The show will be on stage at 8 p.m., Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 16; and at 2 p.m., Feb. 10 and 17 at the Nellie and Lou Bozigian Family Theatre at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.
“Children of Eden” features the story of Adam and Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah and the Father. The show was written by Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist of hit musicals “Wicked” and “Godspell.”
“He took a little liberty with a couple little things here, But it’s a show that people of any age can enjoy,” Langford said.
The 28-member cast ranges in age from 8 to the early 60s.
Langford said audience members of any age will enjoy the show because there is something for everyone, whether you are religious, non-religious, a theater-going person, or not.
“There’s a character for everybody to connect to in the show,” he said.
That includes the family rebel or the kid who always follows the rules or the parent who serves as disciplinarian or the parent who is less strict.
“It’s about the mistakes we make,” Langford said.
The two-act musical features a whopping 43 songs.
Langford is an Antelope Valley theater veteran who is directing solo for the first time.
“Every once in a while, I feel like it’s more than I expected. But we have an amazing cast, so that makes it easy,” he said. “We’re pushing a lot of boundaries in the Black Box.”
Vocal director Lindsay Gibson is also vocal directing solo for the first time.
“I didn’t know this show when he asked me to vocal direct, so I had no idea that there were 43 songs,” she said. “So it was actually very challenging.”
There are four-, five- and six-part harmonies. One of the big numbers in the show is a five-part harmony performed by the actors who make up the snake that tempts Eve.
“It was definitely challenging and more than I realized I was taking on,” Gibson said. “But it was so insanely rewarding and so much fun.”
Actress Kait Adams, who plays Eve and Mama, is relatively new to theater. She auditioned for the show, in part, because she appeared in Cedar Street Theatre’s production of “9 to 5: The Musical” last year with Langford.
“I didn’t audition for this big of a role, but it just so happened I was blessed with it and I’m real excited,” she said. “I didn’t know much about it going in, but almost immediately, I fell in love with the show.”
Adams added she is excited and nervous about the show.
“I’ve always wanted to do theater and I just started last year,” she said. “This is my first big, major role. It’s my first lead. I am so excited, but I also could not be more nervous.”
Ceron Jones plays Adam and Noah. He auditioned in part, because it would mark Langford’s directorial debut.
“I’m a big proponent for new directors in the Valley, or all directors, but I love to see theater live on, so I was right in,” he said.
The musical also appeals to Jones on another level: his faith.
“It does speak to me because I teach these lessons at church, a lot of them … Though this has been doctored up to appeal to all audiences, there’s still some messages that still remain true,” he said.
Antelope Valley theater veteran L. Michael Wells plays Father, the God character in the show.
“It’s a promotion,” he said. “I’ve been Jesus a couple of times. This is the first time I’ve played his father.”
Wells is appearing in the show with his youngest son Jason, 14.
“Anthony’s a friend,” he said. “He’s an acting kid, so I did all the ACME shows … and the chance to be on stage with my son,”
Wells’ wife Kathy was also going to be in the show, but she had to pull out. The couple recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
“Part of it was to be here for Anthony and the family thing,” he said. “It’s a completely different show for me. Musically it’s different than anything I’ve ever done.”
Wells watched Langford grow up in the theater.
“The opportunity to be involved in his first directing project is an honor,” he said.
Tickets cost $18 for adults and $16 for military, seniors 62 and older, or youth 18 or younger.
For details visit www.lpac.org, or call 661-723-5850.