Musical’s message mixes hope and faith

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2000


Tuesday, July 18, 2000

ASHLAND, Ky. – Music and theater lovers can enjoy an evening with the arts this August, with a little faith, love, hope and family mixed in.

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Bless Your Little Heart Inc., a nonprofit theatrical production company, will present Children of Eden at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 12, followed by an encore matinee performance 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.

The off-broadway production covers the first nine chapters of the book of Genesis, from the creation to the flood.

"I think it’s going to be unlike anything that anyone has ever read or seen," writer/actor/director Mickey Fisher said. "It looks at our relationships as children of God and our relationships with parents and children on Earth."

A Broadway performer and local talent, Fisher has been involved in 60 plays. He and his mother, Debbie, are coordinating this $16,000 theatrical production, putting a lot of time – and a lot of their own money – into a first-rate musical.

"Mickey did this show in Warsaw, Ind., last year, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to do it here, around Ironton," Mrs. Fisher said.

This production will feature 52 actors, dancers and singers from the Tri-State, and a 12-piece orchestra pop rock, folk, Broadway and world music.

"It’s different than a lot of other musicals," Fisher said. "We have the best of the best – dancers from different schools in the Tri-State, some of the best singers and best actors."

Included in the count are five professional stage actors from New York and Chicago, he said.

Also joining the team are set designer Terry Julien, of Warsaw, along with choreographer Maria Whaley and musical director Mark Baker, both of Ashland, Ky.

"I’ve got a great team with Maria and Mark," Fisher said.

Julien, who previously worked with Fisher in a production of "The Odd Couple" at the Wagon Wheel Theater in Warsaw, volunteered to come down to Ironton, with brush in hand, to create backgrounds for the show.

"(Julien’s) talent is perfect for this," Fisher said. "These sets are so beautiful, it’s pushed me to work harder in directing this play."

And this is the most difficult play Fisher has directed, he added.

"This production is so huge and there are so many people to coordinate," Fisher said. "If something needed to be changed, for example, 30 people might have to be contacted."

Fisher stressed the importance of unity, hope and faith – the key themes of this musical.

"The show isn’t about religion," Fisher said.

"It’s about family," Mrs. Fisher added. "It deals with parent-child relationships."

Fisher said the focus of the show is revealed in the one of the songs in the show’s musical numbers, "The Hardest Part of Love is Letting Go."

"Part of the lesson for the child is to go off and make mistakes – and learn from those mistakes," he said. "Part of the lesson for the parent is letting go – letting them make their own mistakes.

"If there is one word that I think people would get out of this show, I think it would be ‘hope.’" The whole thing with Noah’s Arc, for instance – it deals with second chances – starting again."

"The show is about family," Mrs. Fisher said. "People will go away with a great feeling."