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The Secret Garden

a Musical
CATEGORY : DRAMA MUSICAL
by Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Robert Ferst Center for the Arts [WEBSITE]
ID# 1580

SHOWING : April 28, 2006 - April 30, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The Secret Garden by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon is based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This enchanting classic of children's literature is now a brilliant musical and you will hear it as it was originally scored, featuring the full Lyric Orchestra.


CAST & CREW LIST
Stage Director Catherine Mew
Musical Director and Conductor J. Lynn Thompson
Asst. Dir/ASM Hayley Brotherton
Production Manager Harley Gould
Set Designer Pattie Dawson Jones
ASM Erin McCullugh
Stage Manager Christopher M. McKenzie
Tenor Ensemble Drew Archer
Captain Lennox Michael Austin
Colin Hunter Ballard
Dr. Neville Craven Daniel Britt
Tenor Ensemble Matthew Carter
Major Shelley Jeff Craft
Major Holmes Todd Dissinger
Martha Taylor Driskill
Bass Ensemble Brian Farr
Mary Lennox Sarah Gooding
Alice Glenda Tibbals Gray
Claire Holmes Bonnie Hallman
Soprano Ensemble Angela Ham
Alto Ensemble Jennifer Hannah
Mrs. Winthrop Jennifer Hendrickson
Dickon Matthew John Kacergis
Ayah Kristie Krabe
Rose Lennox Christina LaFontaine
Mrs. Shelley Holly McCarren
Lt. Shaw Stephen McCool
Soprano Ensemble Meagan Morgan
Lt. Wright Kelly Myers
Fakir Ben Neill
Mrs. Medlock Nancy Riggs
Lily Misty Ann Sturm
Soprano Ensemble Angela Tesch
Tenor Ensemble Marshall Thomas
Ben Weatherstaff Robert Wayne
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

a wick production
by Okely Dokely
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
4.0
This was my first ALT production I'd seen, and I was absolutely floored with the space and the production overall. The orchestra sounded as good as the cast recording, and the body mic situation was great most of the time. It's nice to finally see a show with body mics that WORK!

The name and title of the gentleman who gave the curtain speech escapes me, but if he is the one who does it for every show, he could definitely stand to cut it down by at least 50%. When announcing a season, not every show needs a drawn out plot summary and a drum roll preceding the announcement of the show's name.

Performances were almost uniformly excellent. Daniel Britt as Neville looked and sounded like he stepped straight out of a storybook. Misty Ann Sturm as Lily had a breathtakingly beautiful voice that totally immersed me. If I suddenly become an opera connoisseur, I'll have her to "blame." Matt Kacergis, my favorite performance, was very appealing as Dickon, and I'm sure is Broadway bound. I love that Danny Cook played Archibald, although I don't know if he was channelling Mandy Patinkin too much vocally, or if I kept hearing Mandy's voice in my head. Either way, if God can sing, I imagine He'd sound like Danny Cook, and the soon-to-be-wife and I are slightly disappointed that we will be on our honeymoon and will miss his inevitable performance as Jekyll and Hyde with ALT this fall. Robert Wayne was enjoyable as Ben Weatherstaff, but I wish his one and only solo hadn't been truncated. (What is it with shows that have been doing that lately?)

In the 3 shows I've seen him in, Michael Austin seems to have been to both extremes in the enunciation department. After being distractingly marble-mouthed as Mary Sunshine in Chicago at Aurora Theatre, his diction has almost been "too good" in this and Urinetown. I don't want to frustrate him and make him scream "so how CAN I please you!!!????!!!," so I will blame it not on his diction (thank you Michael for letting me understand you these last 2 shows), but his over-theatricality. I can't put my finger on it, but in this and Urinetown, I was very conscious that I was seeing an actor putting on a performance. Before you think I'm picking on just him, let me say that this is something that I bet I struggle with as an actor, too. Here, he had a small supporting role, and it was as if he was trying to make it as big as he possibly could, and didn't know when step out of the limelight. Or maybe he did and he's just so brilliant that he stuck out in my mind so much. I dunno. This whole thing has confuzzled me.

It was a pleasure to see Taylor Driskill as Martha, so soon after I had just seen her in something else. I think I liked her better as Lucy in YAGMCB, personally. She was a great Martha, but had difficulty with some low notes, and I could have used more spunk from her in her performance.

Of the 2 children in the cast, one was excellent, the other not so excellent. Enough said about that.

Congratulations on a great show, Lyric people. I don't know why I've seen so many reviews in the AJC that have dogged you guys. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Slow start...fast finish!
by woahfred
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
4.0
This was my first time attending an Atlanta Lyric production, and I must say that I was very impressed. It was also my first time seeing THE SECRET GARDEN. Most of the music in this show I would consider “fluff” although there were a few exceptions. I really enjoyed all of the different layers contained within the show, but to an inexperienced musical theatre audience, it could easily come across as confusing. The first act was extremely SLOW (too much exposition) but once the second act started, the show flew by.

There were several technical elements in the show which were quite nice. The costumes for the show were excellent. I really liked how all of the “Dreamers” were costumed differently, while still looking alike as an ensemble. The set design was also very nice, but left me feeling like it needed more. The way the staircases were used in the show was probably the coolest thing about the set. The ensemble moved the pieces about in a very choreographed fashion which was visually stunning. The stage at the Ferst is so huge, it seems like it would be easy to leave a lot of empty space. The backdrop used was just too bland. It needed more lighting, or something to make the stage feel more “full.”

Standout performances in this production go to Taylor Driskill as “Martha”, Matt Kacergis as “Dicken”, Daniel Britt as “Dr. Craven”, Misty Ann Sturm as “Lily” and Michael Austin as “Capt. Lennox.” Special recognition also goes to Sarah Gooding as “Mary Lennox.” I don’t usually like children in musicals unless they are REALLY good…I just can’t watch a bad performer and think to myself: “Awww, how cute! It’s a kid trying to sing and act!” Sarah Gooding was not one of those kids. Vocally, she was VERY good. She seemed a little “awkward” on stage with her movements and such, but after reading that this was her first professional show in her bio, I was very impressed. If she continues to grow as a performer, she will be absolutely wonderful in a few years.

Matt Kacergis as “Dicken” was incredible. He definitely had the best stage presence out of the entire cast. Every time he stepped onto stage, he just made everything seem so fresh and alive. Taylor Driskill as “Martha” was also vocally amazing. I must confess, I am a huge fan of her voice. I guarantee you she is one of only a handful of actresses in Atlanta who can just about sing anything and make it sound great. Her rendition of “Hold On” in the second act was breathtaking!

The highlight of the first act was definitely Danny Cook and Dan Britt’s duet “Lily’s Eyes.” It was outstanding in every way. The orchestra, vocals, and staging all combined to make a very powerful number. Overrall, this show was very good. I look forward to seeing what the Lyric will do with its future shows.
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