The October 15 concert presentations of Stephen Schwartz and John Caird's Children of Eden at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre will feature gospel music artist David Phelps and YouTube creator and music artist Sam Tsui. Derek Van Barham will direct the two performances with choreography by Nicholas Ranauro.
Phelps and Tsui will play Adam/Noah and Cain/Japheth, respectively. The former was a member of two-time Grammy-winning gospel group Gaither Vocal Band and has also had a solo career. Tsui has a YouTube following of over five million subscribers, who tune in for his musical content of covers, mashups, medleys, and original songs.
Additional creatives and casting will be announced at a later date.
Based on the book of Genesis, Children of Eden has a book by Caird and a score by Schwartz. The musical had its world premiere in London's West End in 1991, later playing in a revised form at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in 1997. The score includes such Schwartz favorites as "The Spark of Creation," "Lost in the Wilderness," "Stranger to the Rain," and "In Whatever Time We Have."
The staged concert presentation will also have music direction by Justin Kono. Kyle Haas is the artistic producer.
The project was originally announced for the Arcada Theatre in summer 2020 with a different creative team and Norm Lewis starring as Father. Two postponements, the first to August 2021 due to COVID, followed.
The musical is aiming for a full Broadway production in 2023; the Chicago concert is produced by the Chicagoland Theatre Fund and Onesti Entertainment.