‘Children of Eden’ in Bayside

| ckasden@queenscourier.com |

Bright colorful costumes, plenty of music and a clever spin to some favorite biblical stories provide a pleasant platform for Beari Productions’ musical “Children of Eden.” Yes, the adults portray their characters with skill and sincerity. However, the scene stealers are clearly the children.

The project is produced by Debbie and Rene Bendana, directed and choreographed by David Arzberger with musical direction by Gia Gan. Among them, they have an enormous amount of experience and ability. Their collaboration earns high marks for this popular community theatre production.

Offstage a voice is heard. It is stern yet caring. He is called father (played by Gene Ferrari) but it is obvious that he represents much, much more. The scene is the Garden of Eden. Naturally, we meet Adam (Jahlil M. Burke), Eve (Sochima Udedibla) and the Snake (Eleet Lucheonnie). Through songs and actions, Adam and Eve convince us that their feelings are genuine. Soon, as we all know, they will face the consequences of their actions. The snake, as expected, is magical and mesmerizing with her colorfully stylized costume and irresistible dance.

Act I continues with another popular biblical tale. Cain (David Cronin) and Abel (Julio Ulloa) have been rivals since they were children (David Fabio, Jonathan Kamprath). Now things are getting rough. Don’t expect Cain to slay Abel for the generally accepted reason. The story soon takes one of its effectively modern twists.

Act II begins with a delightful parade of children crossing the runway to the main stage. The generations that lead to Noah (Rene Bendana) are recited. Later, the kids, wearing animal costumes, jump, crawl and hop onstage for their grand entrance into the ark.

Strong acting and vocal performances in Act II include David Cronin as the rebellious son Japeth and his beautiful love, Yonah. She is played by Jessica Lausell with dramatic fervor and clear affection for her rescuer Japeth. Mama Noah (Candis Alek) uses her powerful voice to anchor her tempest tossed family. Completing Noah’s family are Ham (Julio Ulloa), Shem (Ken Voisin), Aphra (Stephanie Cruz) and Aysha (Suni Chacko).

The show is on a very short run at 214-35 40th Avenue (All Saints Church) in Bayside. For this and future productions call (718) 736- 1216 or surf to Beari Productions on Facebook. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.