Get an Unique Sneak Peek at the Layouts for Broadway-Aimed The Key Backyard Revival
Designers Jason Sherwood and Ann Hould-Ward tell us how they’re reimagining the Lucy Simon-Marsha Norman musical for LA’s Heart Theatre Group—including a new character.
Rehearsals are underway for a new creation of Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman’s The Key Back garden, scheduled to start off February 19 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre through Heart Theatre Team. The run will continue on through March 26, but producers have their eye on bringing the manufacturing to New York, which would give the musical its very first Broadway revival.
Dependent on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Secret Garden features a e-book and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and tunes by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Simon. The story follows a young woman left orphaned by a cholera epidemic in British-occupied India who is despatched to stay with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English country estate.
Considering that premiering on Broadway in 1991, the musical has gone on to turn into a favorite for regional theatres and colleges about the world—but the authentic output stays legendary. Established in 1911 England, Heidi Ettinger’s Tony-winning first set style and design placed 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 set with each other a top-notch layout workforce for his new creation, which includes Emmy-winning scenic designer Jason Sherwood (Lease Dwell) and Tony-profitable costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (Into the Woods, Splendor and the Beast). Alongside one another with the relaxation of the artistic team, this trio is building a Top secret Garden in contrast to any seen before—including a wholly new character. Get a very first look at some of Sherwood and Hould-Ward’s types, along with an inside of glance at what encouraged them, below.
According to Sherwood, he took the show’s ghostly top quality as his chief inspiration—Norman’s adaptation of the story has the ghosts of the living characters’ pasts sharing the stage, a haunting reminder of the grief that has held about them.
“Misselthwaite Manor is a primary setting for the story, and we truly desired this place to have a ghostly, floating high quality,” claims Sherwood. “In this impression, the ghosts of the past are dancing via the ballroom, though pairs of chandeliers lilt and float in space, amidst a translucent staircase and frames that ascend into the void. The story generally usually takes area in the previous and the existing simultaneously—as our figures contend with their pasts and their losses—and we wanted the space to have a lyrical, emotional top quality that would support those times.”
Sherwood proceeds: “Our wonderful director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and I have been coming up with this exhibit together for quite a few decades. The established design is based mostly on the thought of the elements—earth, drinking water, hearth, and air, all of which are represented in our show—and the idea of a ghost tale. The Solution Garden is about regeneration, and we wished all those features to be at the heart of the design. So, the clearly show is framed by this sculptural swirl—which implies a gust of air—and we populate the room with a variety of objects to consider us to unique areas. In this picture, we are in the backyard, just before it has been brought back to lifestyle. It is really however dormant and has just been found by Mary. A large solar hangs upstage, which gently resembles the rings of a tree, casting light via the wrought-iron tree that is the symbol of the garden, and the back garden doorway sits downstage remaining.”
Hould-Ward’s layouts contain a character new to this output of The Secret Backyard garden: Cholera. See her sketch for that and other costumes in the gallery below.
As beforehand declared, Center Theatre Group’s The Secret Garden will star Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven, Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven, Aaron Lazar (The Gentle in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester (Into the Woods, Large Faculty Musical: The Musical: The Sequence) as Martha, and John-Michael Lyles (A Unusual Loop) as Dickon.
Rounding out the solid will be Terron Brooks as Significant Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Key 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 performs for Carlyle considering that at least 2018, when he was declared to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 time that by no means materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to gain The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund, featuring Boggess as Lily. The stream was dedicated to the late Rebecca Luker, who performed the purpose in the unique Broadway firm.
Alongside with Sherwood and Hould-Ward, Carlyle’s imaginative staff will include things like tunes supervision and more orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, new music way by Dan Redfeld, lighting style and design by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, audio design and style by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and make-up structure by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin will provide as creation phase manager.
Go to CenterTheatreGroup.org.