Young stars present Diary of Adam and Eve at Mendelssohn

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115946174811785.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Local teens Emily Rogers (right), Ryan Bersten (left) and Brian Patterson (not pictured) star in The Diary of Adam and Eve, showing at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30 and 3 p.m., Sunday October 1, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.’);

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 shows benefit Mendelssohn’s Youth Programs division

For some delightful entertainment this weekend, reserve Saturday evening, Sept. 30 or Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1 right now, to join all musical comedy lovers for a wonderful hour of Broadway show biz at its youthful best.

For two performances only—one at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, and the other at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 1—three of Rockford’s best-known young singer-actor-dancers will star in the hilarious and beautiful Diary of Adam and Eve,

a musical in one act, being performed at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC), as a benefit for their Youth Programs division.

The three young stars have been members of MPAC’s very successful “Broadway Bound” for the past year, and each has become well known in various theater groups in the stateline area.

Emily Rogers (Eve) has been singing and dancing since she was 4. Now, at age 13, she is much in demand as a triple talent performer, and has been under contract to a professional theater venue in Chicago for the past year, recently having gained a spot in their extravaganza Christmas show. She has toured with Music Theatre International of New York as a member of their “Broadway Allstars” and has been featured in their collaboration with Disney’s Broadway Jr. collection. She has performed at the Kennedy Center with Kristin Chenoweth, star of Wicked.

Ryan Bernsten (Adam), a familiar face on the New American Theater stage, has performed at Starlight Summer Theatre, and has starred in Children’s Theatre Project productions, most recently as the uproarious Bottom the Weaver in the musical Dream On. At age 14, he is a freshman at Boylan High School and has just been cast in his first production there. Ryan and Emily first performed together when he played the young lead in The Secret Garden at Stagecoach Theatre in DeKalb, and where Emily played the role of Mary Lennox.

Brian Patterson, a senior at Auburn High School, joins Emily and Ryan as guest artist, in the cameo role of the apple-tempting Snake. Brian has been featured in many local theaters, and has recently been honored with the leading role in the statewide high school production of Les Miserables, to be performed this January at the Illinois State Festival in Champaign-Urbana.

The Diary of Adam and Eve is based on Mark Twain’s wonderful short work of the same name. Better known now as the first act of the Broadway hit, The Apple Tree, by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, and produced here by special arrangement with Music Theatre International, all proceeds from the show will go directly to benefit the Youth Programs of MPAC.

The show is directed by retired theater professor Bill Beard, local theater critic and consultant, and acting/stage director for MPAC’ s Broadway Bound. Lighting by Garret Lizer and Mike Licari, and scenery by Mark Kann, Carol Merry, Kayla Wigget and Jonathan Merry, will add to the color and excitement of this joyful, funny and beautifully poignant one-hour “entertainment extraordinaire.”

The Youth Programs of MPAC is one of the finest contributions to the growth of young artists to be found anywhere in the area. It is a cause worthy of your attention, and this show is something very special. See it! Tickets are $7, and will be available at the door at the time of performance. For more information, contact MPAC at 964-9713.

From the Sept. 27-Oct.3, 2006, issue

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