A new revival of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's 1991 musical The Secret Garden, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, officially opens at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre via Center Theater Group February 26 at the Ahmanson Theatre. Performances began February 19 and will continue through March 26, but producers have their eye on bringing the production to New York, which would give the musical its first Broadway run since the original production.
Based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Secret Garden features a book and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and music 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 sent to live with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English country estate.
Leading the company are Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven, Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven, Emily Jewel Hoder (The Music Man) as Mary Lennox, Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester (Into the Woods, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) as Martha, and John-Michael Lyles (A Strange Loop) as Dickon.
Rounding out the cast are Terron Brooks as Major Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Major 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, Sadie Reynolds 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.
Carlyle's creative team includes music supervision and additional orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, music direction by Dan Redfeld, scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and makeup design by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin serves as production stage manager.
The production has been in the works for Carlyle since at least 2018, when he was announced to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 season that never materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to benefit The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund, featuring Boggess as Lily. The stream was dedicated to the late Rebecca Luker, who played the role in the original Broadway company.