Get an Exceptional Sneak Peek at the Models for Broadway-Aimed The Secret Backyard Revival

Rehearsals are underway for a new generation of Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman’s The Top secret Yard, scheduled to commence February 19 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre by using Heart Theatre Team. The run will proceed by March 26, but producers have their eye on bringing the creation to New York, which would give the musical its initial Broadway revival.

Based mostly on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Secret Garden attributes a book and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and tunes by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Simon. The story follows a young girl left orphaned by a cholera epidemic in British-occupied India who is despatched to are living with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English place estate.

Considering the fact that premiering on Broadway in 1991, the musical has absent on to turn out to be a preferred for regional theatres and educational institutions all over the world—but the original output continues to be legendary. Established in 1911 England, Heidi Ettinger’s Tony-profitable unique established style put the action in a stately mansion cum Victorian scrapbook, and Theoni V. Aldredge also gained a Tony nod for hauntingly beautiful costumes. 

But will not fret. Director-choreographer Warren Carlyle has place jointly a top rated-notch style and design group for his new creation, like Emmy-winning scenic designer Jason Sherwood (Rent Reside) and Tony-winning costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (Into the WoodsSplendor and the Beast). Jointly with the relaxation of the creative group, this trio is developing a Magic formula Back garden unlike any found before—including a wholly new character. Get a initially glance at some of Sherwood and Hould-Ward’s styles, along with an inside of appear at what inspired them, under.

In accordance to Sherwood, he took the show’s ghostly high quality as his chief inspiration—Norman’s adaptation of the tale has the ghosts of the living characters’ pasts sharing the stage, a haunting reminder of the grief that has held around them.

A set layout from The Key Back garden by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

“Misselthwaite Manor is a most important setting for the story, and we really wanted this area to have a ghostly, floating high quality,” says Sherwood. “In this picture, the ghosts of the past are dancing as a result of the ballroom, when pairs of chandeliers lilt and float in house, amidst a translucent staircase and frames that ascend into the void. The tale often will take area in the past and the existing simultaneously—as our characters contend with their pasts and their losses—and we required the room to have a lyrical, psychological top quality that would guidance those people times.”

A set layout from The Top secret Garden by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

Sherwood proceeds: “Our wonderful director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and I have been planning this show collectively for quite a few yrs. The established style is dependent on the thought of the elements—earth, h2o, hearth, and air, all of which are represented in our show—and the notion of a ghost tale. The Magic formula Garden is about regeneration, and we wished people features to be at the coronary heart of the design. So, the exhibit is framed by this sculptural swirl—which implies a gust of air—and we populate the place with numerous objects to acquire us to diverse locations. In this graphic, we are in the back garden, before it has been introduced back to existence. It is really nonetheless dormant and has just been found by Mary. A substantial sunlight hangs upstage, which gently resembles the rings of a tree, casting light-weight as a result of the wrought-iron tree that is the image of the back garden, and the backyard garden doorway sits downstage still left.”

Hould-Ward’s styles contain a character new to this creation of The Secret Back garden: Cholera. See her sketch for that and other costumes in the gallery down below.


Ann Hould-Ward’s Costume Patterns for The Solution Backyard

As formerly announced, Middle Theatre Group’s The Magic formula Back garden will star Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven, Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven, Ava Madison Gray as Mary Lennox at particular performances, Aaron Lazar (The Mild in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester (Into the Woods, Higher University Musical: The Musical: The Collection) as Martha, John-Michael Lyles (A Bizarre Loop) as Dickon, and Sadie Brickman Reynolds as Mary Lennox at certain performances.

Rounding out the forged will be Terron Brooks as Main Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Big Holmes, Susan Denaker as Mrs. Medlock, Kelley Dorney as Mrs. Winthrop/Cholera, Ali Ewoldt as Rose Lennox, William Foon as Colin Craven alternate, Ava Madison Gray as Mary Lennox alternate, John Krause as Captain Albert Lennox, Reese Levine as Colin Craven, Yamuna Meleth as Ayah, Cassandra Marie Murphy as Mrs. Shelley, James Olivas as Lieutenant Wright, Kyla Jordan Stone as Alice, Vishal Vaidya as Fakir, and Ariel Neydavoud, with Randi De Marco and Sam Linkowski serving as swings.

The generation has been in the operates for Carlyle considering that at minimum 2018, when he was declared to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 season that in no way materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to advantage The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund, featuring Boggess as Lily. The stream was devoted to the late Rebecca Luker, who played the purpose in the original Broadway business.

Along with Sherwood and Hould-Ward, Carlyle’s creative team will incorporate music supervision and additional orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, new music route by Dan Redfeld, lights design and style by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, audio style by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and makeup design by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin will provide as manufacturing phase supervisor.



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