THE GARDEN - A Musical Fantasy
AgesAdults & kids together
June brings to Rochester the World Premiere of a New Musical for the entire family, entitled “THE GARDEN.” This delightful fantasy, by composers E. A. Messenger and Jim Schmitt, is a modern re-telling of the story of the Garden of Eden, and features original artwork by R. J. Ketchum. Rare Bird’s Ode presents THE GARDEN at the Auditorium Center, 885 Main Street, Third Floor Theater, for three performances: Friday, June 15th, 7:30 pm, Saturday, June 16th, 7:30 pm, with a matinee performance Sunday, June 17th at 2:00 pm. Directed by Matt Mayne, with music direction by Jim Schmitt, and choreography by Cheryl Johnson, the cast of 15 features many local professional and young actors, including: Jon Madden as ADAM, Ericka Hopkins as EVE, and Greg Ludek as SHAME (The Tempter).
THE GARDEN is the first of five award-winning musicals by the team of E. A. Messenger and Jim Schmitt. GARDEN TOOLS, the Educational Packet version of THE GARDEN received an AVA Platinum Award for Audio Visual Original Music from the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals (AMCP). Their musical GOOD SHEPHERDS also won the AVA Platinum Award and was featured at both the 2015 and 2016 Rochester Fringe Festivals. Other works by Messenger/Schmitt are: THE ARK, (presented in a multi-media format at the Little Theater in 2007), THE FOUR HORSEMEN, (presented as a Staged Reading at the Hart Theater at the JCC in 2010), and WHELMED!
“Each musical in the SIMPLE ODE collection is a re-telling of classic biblical stories, presented in a modern and whimsical musical format, with the goal to introduce them to a new generation in a fresh and exciting way,” says Jim Schmitt, whose collaboration with E. A. Messenger began in 2007. “Since we began working together, we have produced six musicals, each with a vocal and orchestral CD, and an illustrated companion book, with artwork by renowned local artist Ron Ketchum”. Each also includes a lesson planner, making the series ideal for religious educational programs, Sunday School classes, and home schoolers. “Now we are in the process of adapting each musical for the stage, and are excited to debut THE GARDEN,” says Schmitt.
Mayne, who has directed many shows for TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy), A Magical Journey thru Stages, and was most recently appointed Artistic Director for the Greece Performing Arts Society, is thrilled to be directing this production for Rare Bird’s Ode. “This is a really fun, family friendly story that most people know, but with some exciting twists to keep it very interesting! The music is catchy. The talent is great, with many familiar Rochester performers coming together to bring this original production to stage. It will be a blast!”
Tickets are available at Ticketleap.com, and at all local Wegmans locations. Adults: $15 ($18 at the Door), Students: $5, Children 5/under: Free. Groups of 10 or more: $12.
For more information visit their website at: rarebirdsode.com