The Secret Garden, the 1991 Tony Award-winning musical, is set to bloom again in its first Broadway revival. Set to open next-season, the musical based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, with music by Lucy Simon and book/lyrics by Marsha Norman, will be directed, choreographed, and reimagined for a new generation by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle.
The musical follows the story of the young Mary Lennox who loses both her parents to the cholera epidemic in India. She is sent to live with her Uncle Archibald at his gloomy manor on the moors of Yorkshire. Mary is an unhappy child, surly and stubborn. Archibald is forlorn and detached due to the untimely death of his wife Lily. As Mary gets to know the estate and its maze of hallways and hedges, she begins to change as both the living and the dead guide her to a secret, neglected garden that becomes her pet project. As she brings the garden back to life, she also ignites hope and love in the household, helping her Uncle Archie rejoin the living in the process.
The Secret Garden was nominated for several Tony Awards in 1991, winning for Best Book, Best Featured Actress (a young Daisy Eagan playing Mary Lennox) and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Ettinger). The lush score featured such lovely songs as “Lily’s Eyes”, “How Could I Ever Know?” and “Hold On”. The original production, which ran 709 performances at Broadway’s St. James Theatre, was directed by Susan H. Schulman, with choreography by Michael Lichtefeld. Among the original Broadway cast were Mandy Patinkin, Rebecca Luker, Alison Fraser, John Cameron Mitchell, and Robert Westenberg.
Details on casting, venue, and design team will be announced in the future.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.