Stage Right selects ‘Children of Eden’ for record-setting attempt at the Palace
The Greensburg theater company Stage Right hopes that the controlled chaos of Saturday morning will transform into a complete production of the musical “Children of Eden” by Saturday night.
If they want to break the Guinness record for the fastest staging of a musical production, they will have to cast, rehearse, create sets, props and costumes, and be ready to perform within 14 hours and 30 minutes.
The current Guinness record holder is Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts, which successfully staged a performance of the musical “Annie” at Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, on Aug. 29, 2016, in precisely 15 hours.
The attempt at a record began at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, when Stage Right officials JoAnne Salvatore and Tina Federico opened the boxes from Music Theatre International to reveal that the selected musical was “Children of Eden,” by Stephen Schwartz and John Caird.
“It is a large show because we didn’t want to turn anybody away. We opened it up to our students and to the public, if they wanted to participate in this event today (Saturday),” said Salvatore, Stage Right general manager.
An estimated 170 people have volunteered to help in some capacity prior to the 8 p.m. Saturday start time at the Palace Theater in downtown Greensburg, she said.
Once the musical was revealed, the company got to work creating the sets, picking the costumes and holding rehearsals for members of the cast, ensemble and orchestra.
Set construction began with a trip to the Stage Right warehouse in Jeannette, while costume work was done at a studio in Greensburg. Rehearsals were being held at the Palace Theater.
“The challenge, of course, is rehearsing everything and making sure that everything is together and makes sense,” said Tony Marino, Stage Right founder. “It is a difficult show because it’s just a lot of material. There’s a lot of big group numbers; there’s a lot of people on stage.”
Marino described “Children of Eden” as one of his favorite shows of all time. “If you’re a musical theater person, you probably love ‘Children of Eden,’ ” he said.
The performance will be open to the public for a suggested donation of $10 or $20, which will go toward Stage Right’s summer camp scholarship fund. To make reservations, call the Palace Theater box office at 724-836-8000 or Stage Right at 724-832-7464.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .