Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek at the Designs for Broadway-Aimed The Secret Garden Revival

Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek at the Designs for Broadway-Aimed The Secret Garden Revival

Rehearsals are underway for a new output of Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman’s The Mystery Backyard garden, scheduled to commence February 19 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre by way of Center Theatre Group. The run will go on by means of March 26, but producers have their eye on bringing the manufacturing to New York, which would give the musical its 1st Broadway revival.

Centered on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Solution Backyard characteristics a ebook and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and new music by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Simon. The story follows a youthful female remaining orphaned by a cholera epidemic in British-occupied India who is despatched to dwell with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English country estate.

Considering the fact that premiering on Broadway in 1991, the musical has long gone on to turn into a favored for regional theatres and faculties all around the world—but the primary creation remains legendary. Established in 1911 England, Heidi Ettinger’s Tony-winning authentic established layout positioned the motion in a stately mansion cum Victorian scrapbook, and Theoni V. Aldredge also obtained a Tony nod for hauntingly beautiful costumes. 

But really don’t fret. Director-choreographer Warren Carlyle has place jointly a leading-notch layout team for his new production, together with Emmy-profitable scenic designer Jason Sherwood (Rent Dwell) and Tony-winning costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (Into the WoodsNatural beauty and the Beast). Alongside one another with the relaxation of the innovative team, this trio is building a Secret Yard unlike any found before—including a wholly new character. Get a to start with glimpse at some of Sherwood and Hould-Ward’s patterns, along with an inside of glance at what motivated them, beneath.

According to Sherwood, he took the show’s ghostly high-quality as his chief inspiration—Norman’s adaptation of the story has the ghosts of the dwelling characters’ pasts sharing the stage, a haunting reminder of the grief that has held above them.

A set style and design from The Key Yard by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

“Misselthwaite Manor is a most important location for the story, and we definitely needed this place to have a ghostly, floating good quality,” says Sherwood. “In this image, the ghosts of the previous are dancing via the ballroom, though pairs of chandeliers lilt and float in house, amidst a translucent staircase and frames that ascend into the void. The story generally takes position in the previous and the existing simultaneously—as our people contend with their pasts and their losses—and we desired the space to have a lyrical, psychological high quality that would aid those people times.”

A set layout from The Magic formula Backyard by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

Sherwood proceeds: “Our astounding director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and I have been building this show with each other for several a long time. The set layout is based on the plan of the elements—earth, h2o, fireplace, and air, all of which are represented in our show—and the idea of a ghost story. The Magic formula Backyard garden is about regeneration, and we desired those people components to be at the heart of the layout. So, the exhibit is framed by this sculptural swirl—which suggests a gust of air—and we populate the room with many objects to consider us to diverse locations. In this impression, we are in the garden, right before it has been introduced back to everyday living. It truly is however dormant and has just been found out by Mary. A big sunlight hangs upstage, which gently resembles the rings of a tree, casting light-weight via the wrought-iron tree that is the symbol of the back garden, and the garden door sits downstage left.”

Hould-Ward’s types incorporate a character new to this production of The Secret Yard: Cholera. See her sketch for that and other costumes in the gallery below.


Ann Hould-Ward’s Costume Models for The Solution Yard

As formerly announced, Heart Theatre Group’s The Key Back garden will star Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven, Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven, Ava Madison Gray as Mary Lennox at selected performances, Aaron Lazar (The Gentle in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester (Into the Woods, High School Musical: The Musical: The Collection) as Martha, John-Michael Lyles (A Strange Loop) as Dickon, and Sadie Brickman Reynolds as Mary Lennox at selected performances.

Rounding out the cast will be Terron Brooks as Significant Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Main 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 Grey 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 production has been in the works for Carlyle due to the fact at minimum 2018, when he was introduced to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 period that never ever materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to profit The Dramatists Guild Basis and The Actors Fund, that includes Boggess as Lily. The stream was focused to the late Rebecca Luker, who played the job in the original Broadway firm.

Along with Sherwood and Hould-Ward, Carlyle’s creative staff will include things like tunes supervision and supplemental orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, music course by Dan Redfeld, lights design by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and make-up style and design by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin will serve as generation stage supervisor.

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