APAC Presents THE SECRET GARDEN, 5/3-19

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THE ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC) will reunite the creative team behind their The Human Comedy and Children of Eden with THE SECRET GARDEN, musical staging by Christine O'Grady, musical directed by Jeffrey Campos and directed by APAC Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik.

THE SECRET GARDEN will play a limited engagement at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (30-44 Crescent St, Astoria, NY 11102. Entrance on 30th Road.) Performances begin Thursday, May 3 and continue through to Saturday, May 19. Opening Night is Saturday, May 5 (8 p.m.). Press performances are Thursday May 3, Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5. (Unofficial press dates will be accommodated.)

Living in a lonely manor house in 1906 England, Archibald Craven yearns for his beautiful, late wife. He blames his crippled son, Colin, for his wife's death and has left him neglected and isolated. Their quiet routine is turned upside down when young Mary Lennox, a rich, spoiled child, is sent to live with them following the death of her parents by cholera in India.

While living at the manor house, Mary discovers a secret walled garden hidden in the grounds and releases the magic and adventures locked inside, changing their lives forever. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman, in collaboration with composer Lucy Simon, achieved Broadway success with the moving book and lyrics adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved 1911 novel. Using the classic form of the traditional American musical, they have fashioned a faithful rendition of the novel, equally appealing to children and adults, to devotees of the novel and to Secret Garden newcomers as well.

The Secret Garden premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 25, 1991, and closed on January 3, 1993, after 709 performances. Directed by Susan H. Schulman with choreography by Michael Lichtefeld, the cast featured Daisy Eagan as Mary. It won the 1991 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan), and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). Eagan at age 11 was the youngest female recipient of a Tony Award.
The musical was subsequently produced in Australia in 1995, and in a heavily revised version at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Straford, UK in 2000, which transferred to the West End in 2001.

The Secret Garden was The Third Annual World AIDS Day Benefit Concert, held on December 5, 2005 at the Manhattan Center Studios Grand Ballroom, New York City, directed by Stafford Arima, but has not been seen in New York City in a full production since its Broadway premiere.

The production stars Jennifer Evans* (Ragtime and A Tale of Two Cities, Broadway) as Lily, Benjamin J. McHugh* (Mamma Mia! and Hairspray, Nat'l Tours) as Dr. Neville Craven, Jaimie Kelton* (Greenwillow, The York) as Martha, Hannah Lewis (Seussical, Westchester Broadway Theatre) as Mary Lennox, Michael Jennings Mahoney* (Camelot, B'way Concert) as Dickon, Sam Poon* (Les Misérables, Nat'l Tour) as Colin, PatRick Porter* (Blood on the Dining Room Floor, WPA) as Archibald Craven, Jacqueline Sydney* (The Children's Hour, APAC) as Mrs. Medlock, Richard Vernon* (The Human Comedy, APAC) as Ben, as well as Jane Bunting*, Mario Castro, Marisa Devetta*, Britain Gebhardt, Jonathan Gregg*, Clint J. Hromsco, Mary-ElizaBeth Milton, Eric Morris*, Lia Peros, Jason Pintar, Danny Randerson, Spencer Robinson, and Elizabeth Wharton.

The production features scenic design by Michael P. Kramer, costume design by Ryan J. Moller, and lighting design by Dan Jobbins. Colin Whitely is the sound designer, Ashley Cavadas is the props designer and Jessa Nicole Pollack* is the stage manager.

THE SECRET GARDEN plays the following regular schedule through Saturday, May 19:

Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $18, available online at www.apacny.org or by calling 866-811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the Theatre Box Office, 30 minutes prior to the performance.

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