SPARTA, NJ - The First Presbyterian Church of Sparta is kicking off the holiday season with its annual musical. This year's show is Children of Eden, composed by Stephen Schwartz based on the book by John Caird. The ministry’s eleventh annual production will be put on in the Salt and Light Theater. 

Children of Eden is the theatrical rendition of Genesis.  The two act show is comprised of biblical scenes and original music. The composer, Stephen Schwartz, has written many other musicals, most notably Pippin and Wicked.

The show begins at the creation of Eden, features scenes following the stories of Abel & Cain, Noah and the Ark, and Adam and Eve. It should be noted, however, that Children of Eden takes creative discourse and does not strictly adhere to the Bible's words.

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The show is under the direction of Christa Piper with musical coordinator Karen McEver. Piper has directed Salt & Light's productions for many years and comments that this show has been "one of the most challenging, but I have had a lot of fun working with the cast." McEver has worked with the church's Music Ministry for many years.

This year’s cast stars Nate Simmons playing Adam and Noah, Jenn Enberg playing Eve and Lou Cerny as Father. The cast also features many children playing the role of various animals. Also featured are the costumes design by Jenise Sileo.

"Through the past four months of the production process, each of us has grown as individuals, we have become a second family to each other, strengthening our Salt & Light ministry," says Simmons.

Music for this show is provided by a small pit orchestra comprised of high school wind players, three pianists, guitars, a horn and a small percussion duo. McEver has been working with the orchestra for the past several months.

Opening night for the show was this past Saturday and thanks to a great cast, crew, and pit, McEver says "it was the most successful opening night since joining the ministry." The show will run this Friday and Saturday evening and close with a matinee on Sunday. 

If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please visits showtix4u.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, pending availability.