Sunday, February 12, 2006
Genesis 6:3 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
This is the premise for the show. The story, a musical, begins with the announcement that one of the occupants of Paradise has eaten the forbidden apple and is now on the outside. In this version of the story Paradise is staffed by "angels" performing the function of waitresses, maintenance workers, therapist, tennis coach and activities director. The staff is wondering which of the occupants has caved in first. Obviously we know the answer to that. In the biblical version of the story it would appear that Adam ate the fruit almost immediately. In Bite!, Adam discovers that Eve is outside of Paradise later that day. Paradise and "the outside world" are separated in the play by a low fence and a gate. Adam and Eve are able to converse and touch over the fence but Eve is not able to come through the gate. At one point she comes back through and an alarm goes off and she runs back out. It is at this point that she realizes the consequences of "biting" the apple. At first Eve is scared and unsure of her future out in the world. She hears the howls of wolves that Adam is not able to hear inside Paradise.
The staff in Paradise are set into disarray by the loss of half of their clientele. They apparently realized that eventually Adam too must "bite", but are prohibited from openly trying to convince him to do so. They cleverly try, so that the rest of history can proceed. Adam is quite reluctant to join Eve on the outside.
Eve returns to the fence several times throughout the play to try to convince Adam to join her. They were after all "meant to be together" and the outside world was created for them. Each time that Eve returns she begins to show subtle signs of aging. At one point she has acne. At another she has discovered various health and beauty products to improve her appearance. The last time she returns, years later, Eve has aged to the point that Adam does not immediately recognize her.
Adam is portrayed for the most part as somewhat naive and brainless. Eve goes from being scared to being a seductress trying to lure Adam out of Paradise. Finally between Eve's multiple returns and the interactions with the staff, Adam come to the realization that he cannot go on without Eve and takes a "Bite!" The rest, shall we say, is history.
I think the play was well done without being too far off base. Although we would assume based on Genesis that Adam succumbed to Eve's invitation to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life very soon after she did, it is possible that time had gone by. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8. I also think that Adam and Eve were meant to share Paradise rather than the "outside world" as the play implies. But of course we know the outcome of this particular play before it even starts.
Although I'm not a very good critic of the arts, I enjoyed the songs and thought that the characters were cast well. The actor playing Adam, reminded me of Donny Osmond, while the actor portraying Eve, reminded me of Kate Walsh (Grey's Anatomy). This presentation was billed as the "World Premiere". My last observation of the play is "Who emptied out the old folk's home?" I've never seen so many canes and walkers in one place before. We were definitely on the low end of the age curve. This is probably mostly due to the Saturday matinee showing. We went to the show with two other couples as an early Valentine's Day dinner. We enjoyed the meal, the company and the show. The specialty drinks and desserts all had an apple theme. Kind of a nice tie-in. I was at first hesitant to go, but ended up enjoying myself and would recommend Bite! as a fun retelling of the Adam and Eve story.