MAY 3 – 19, 2019
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved victorian classic, The Secret Garden, blossoms anew in this enchanting musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. When young Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera outbreak in India, she is sent to live with her uncle, hermit Archibald Craven, who lives in an imposing, secluded manor on the British heath. Inside the haunting house upon the hill, Mary finds a reclusive, long-suffering collection of souls. Since her aunt Lily’s death, Mary’s uncle has pushed away his surviving loved ones, leaving his bedridden son, Colin, alone. Sickly Colin, hidden away in the depths of the manner, bears the guilt of his mother’s death on his crippled shoulders. When Mary discovers her Aunt Lily’s hidden garden, locked shot and overgrown with vines, stubborn Mary is determined to revive the beauty that once was. Surrounded by spirits from the past, who both warn and welcome her, determined Mary begins to peel away the layers of sadness that cover the house and the garden, showing us the power that “one small girl” can have when she “wants things to grow.”
“The Secret Garden in Cerritos is bountiful, and 3D Theatricals’ staging spares no effort in bringing the tale to life. Rich in big voices, the production is especially powerful with Dino Nicandros’ soaring baritone, and Jeanette Dawson’s glittering soprano.”
-Daryl H. Miller, Los Angeles Times.
“Come to THIS garden. Even if you’ve seen The Secret Garden before, you’ve NEVER seen it like this. 3-D Theatricals’ version is categorically THE version to see of this quintessential musical for all ages! A big bloomin’ bouquet of spirited delight, and 3-D Theatricals gives this one the treatment it fully deserves. Glory Joy Rose is profoundly expressive. Dino Nicandros impresses and amazes. Jeanette Dawson is 3-D Theatricals’ secret weapon. Evan Gutierrez is in great voice. Brandon Root is a true stage presence. Renna Nightingale is phenomenal. Sam Ludwig is remarkable.”
-Leo Buck, Buck-ing Trends
“Everything’s coming up roses for 3-D Theatricals’ The Secret Garden! Talented Glory Joy Rose is destined for big things. Dino Nicandros is a marvel to behold. Jeanette Dawson is the embodiment of perfection. Director T.J. Dawson does an astonishing job with the staging and mounting of this revival. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
-Ivan Steel, Ivan Steel Presents
“3-D’s Theatricals’ The Secret Garden is a magical night of theatre, bringing Broadway worthy elements and performances to Southern California. Take the family, take yourself, take a date, take the neighbor – just do not miss this soaring and deeply emotional production.”
-Alexander J. Rodriguez, On the Rocks with Alexander/iHeartRadio
“A lush gothic musical romance. Dino Nicandros is a star with a gorgeous voice, and delivers a deeply moving performance.”
-Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld.com
“The Secret Garden is about the wonder of finding magic and glory in the everyday beauty of life. Gloria Joy Rose is spectacular, her voice sweet and angelic. Dino Nicandros and Sam Ludwig are absolutely superb. Renna Nightingale’s voice made me want to sob with joy.”
-Alina Mae Wilson, LA Theatre Bites
“Lavish! A Visual treat. Glory Joy Rose is astounding.”
– Dany Margolies, Southern California News Group.
2 hours and 30 minutes (including a 15 minute intermission)
THE SECRET GARDEN has been a show that has haunted me for over 20 years. It was one of the first shows I had dreamed of directing one day and to finally get a chance to dive into this rich story is truly a dream come true. There is a reason this novel has been popular for more than 100 years. It speaks to both children and adults alike as it touches themes that are relatable for people on many deep levels. This is a story of death, rebirth, love, forgiveness, redemption and ultimately healing. It offers us a chance to grow and see how it is never too late to reclaim one’s life.
Through all the beauty this story has to offer, this show has a complicated structure that can prove to be hard to follow at times. It is my sincere hope that we, as a team and cast, have brought clarity to a show that often leaves the audience with many questions. The novel focuses on the characters we have all come to know and love; Mary, Colin, Martha, Dickon and so on. The musical infused an ensemble to act almost as a Greek chorus and some other characters only mentioned briefly in the novel have become major characters in the musical. In my opinion, the chorus of the show has created the most questions and confusion over time and I am hoping to shed a little light on the subject in this note.
I think the opening of the show can traditionally prove to be confusing due to the stylistic way it is presented. The storytelling in the opening sequence is pivotal as it sets up everything that is to come in our story. I will offer some explanation of the direction we have taken in the conception of this production. Hopefully this will explain a bit about what we have done and allow the rest to become very clear on its own. At the top of the show we see the ghost of Lily right before she appears in India to ultimately save her niece, Mary, from dying of cholera and to make sure she is brought back to England. It is her hope that Mary will come and help save her son and husband from the ever growing darkness that is slowly taking over their home. The party we see taking place is a nightmare Mary is having. Cholera cannot kill a person in a day or a night. It takes days or weeks to ultimately claim someone’s life. This nightmare shows fragments of memory as she watches people who were close to her or her parents, including her parents, die from this horrific disease. Each of these people for various reasons are not able to cross over and are forced to follow Mary to her new home. The ghosts don’t understand what has happened to them; why and where they are and what to do next. It becomes clearer to each of them that they each have a reason that has prevented them from moving on and they feel that helping this family step out of the darkness and into the light is a way to earn their way to move forward. What the ghosts must realize is how they must learn and heal something within themselves as well before they are able to cross over.
I hope that you enjoy this powerful revival of a beloved classic before its return to Broadway next season! It is my sincere hope that you leave here reminded that life is too short to not live it to its fullest. Always remind those close to you how much you love them and hold them near. Also, be reminded that those who have left us are never really gone. They are there lifting us up when we need it most and helping guide us along our way.