The 35 cast members, all in high school or entering high school, had 43 songs to learn for the production, along with choreographed dance moves in just a month. Thursday was their first time performing with the orchestra and the first time the high school has done a musical for their summer production, Hidalgo said.
The subject matter is also a new frontier for the summer show, being based on the Old Testament.
"It's very loosely based on it," Hidalgo said. "We just really liked the music and the story, and it's an interesting twist on the Old Testament."
The directors said neither parents nor residents had protested the use of biblical tales in public school, but the thought had entered their minds upon choosing the musical.
"We were expecting it a little," Hidalgo said. "We're anticipating that when the show runs, that's when there will be any flak, if any. It's not like we're doing 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' It's a lot more about the story than it is religious."
The show tells the story through song and dance, the players referring to the God character as "father."
As a Burroughs High choir alumnus, helping students through on-stage jitters and other performance issues is what brought Saletta back to his old stomping grounds for the summer, he said.
Hidalgo and Saletta are also breaking into show business — Hidalgo in acting and Saletta in music.
"I came through this program, and it's a lot of fun for me to be back and help students that are going through the same thing I was," Saletta said. "I'm also studying to be a teacher as well as doing the rock star thing. So it's good experience."
Leatrice Innocent, 16, of Burbank, who plays Mama Noah, said she doesn't get too nervous, and that the musical was would keep her singing pipes warm for next year.
"You get kind of nervous, but you get through it," Leatrice said. "For me, I get on stage and it all goes away."
"Children of Eden" plays tonight at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at 1920 W. Clark Ave., Burbank. Students and seniors pay $8, adults $10, and reserved seating is $15.
RACHEL KANE covers education. She may be reached at (818) 637-3205 or by e-mail at rachel.kanelatimes.com.