The Voice finalist Koryn Hawthorne will star as the "Stranger to the Rain"-singing Yonah in the upcoming Chicago concert of Stephen Schwartz and John Caird's Children of Eden, set for two performances October 15 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Hawthorne joins a previously announced cast that includes gospel music artist David Phelps as Adam/Noah and YouTube creator and music artist Sam Tsui as Cain/Japheth. The staged concert will be directed by Derek Van Barham and feature choreography by Nicholas Ranauro.
With plans for a Broadway-aimed full production in 2023, the Chicago concert is produced by the Chicagoland Theatre Fund and Onesti Entertainment. Justin Kono is music directing, with Kyle Haas serving as artistic producer.
Based on the book of Genesis, Children of Eden has a book by Caird and a score by Schwartz and provides a unique telling of the story of creation through the epic of Noah and the flood. 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. Though the musical has not yet made it to Broadway, it has become a favorite at regional theatres, schools, and churches. 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 Chicago concerts have been in the works since 2020, originally announced for summer 2020 with a different creative team and Norm Lewis starring as Father. Following the onset of COVID-19, the concert was postponed to August 2021, with Kirstin Maldonado, Deborah Cox, David Phelps, and Brian Justin Crum joining the roster of stars. This date was also postponed. Further casting for the 2022 concert is to be announced.
For more information and tickets, visit BroadwayInChicago.com.