By Casey DiBari, Madison Raffone & Taylor Viles– Opinion Editor, Copy Editor, & Taylor Viles
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Lasell Drama Club alongside Regis College, opened their fall musical, “Children of Eden.” The musical, which closed on Saturday, Nov. 23, centered around the Story of Creation during the first act and transitioned into the story of Noah’s Ark in the second act. Connecting the two acts was the theme of the “Mark of Cain,” introduced at the end of the first act.
Last year, the two schools began collaborating with the popular musical, “Footloose,” directed by Lasell’s Lori L’Italian. Some familiar faces from last year included junior Mackenzie Maron as “Mama Noah,” Regis senior Nick Antonellis as “Father” and Lasell junior Laura Gunning as “Snake.”
Tim O’Brien (Regis ‘22) was originally cast as an understudy for the role of Cain, but ended up taking on the role for the entirety of the run.
When comparing the two productions, Maron, who starred in last year’s show said, “I feel that we’ve grown a lot… ‘Footloose’ was very good but I feel this show is more mature.”
Taking up the lead in this year’s show was Lasell senior James Kappatos, who found himself on stage for the first time since the Fall of 2017’s “Shrek the Musical.” Kappatos played the roles of Adam and Noah. “I feel like opening night went great, especially with all the work every- one put in…and all the hours…we spent to create a show,” he said.
First-time Lasell Director Jamie Imperato said, “it’s a much bigger undertaking. As a script, it’s much more in-depth than Footloose was…[also] all of the costumes were handmade.”
Jaime Fortier (Lasell ‘15) was tasked with designing the costumes for the show. The cast made use of the entire auditorium, with animals roaming up and down the aisles and characters making dramatic entrances and exits. The animal costumes seemed whimsical yet realistic.
Being her first show as director, Imperato did a fair amount of learning on the job. “The biggest learning curve [I faced] was that my initial vision might not be my ending vision,” she said. “I had a lot of stuff in my head… As time went on [I realized] that, in my head, it looked much better than it does [currently] on stage.”
While the acting and singing were the highlights of the show, the story took a while to get going. However, once the second act began, the chemistry between characters, as well as the on-stage chemistry between the actors began to evolve. The story itself is an acquired taste as it was somewhat hard to follow. The script was filled with 41 songs including reprises, which allowed for very little spoken word and extended the musical into a two-and-a-half-hour long show.
One of the biggest standout performances from the evening came from Maron during her solo in “Ain’t it Good?” Her breathtaking rendition caused the audience to rise for a standing ovation and brought the energy of the show back to life.
Opening night can make or break how the rest of the performances are received, so having a memorable opening is crucial. “Children of Eden,” though not without its flaws, shined, thanks to the hard work of the cast, crew and directors, leading to another successful collaboration for Lasell and Regis.