Tam Mutu Signs on for Broadway-Bound SECRET GARDEN at 5th Avenue Theatre

Tam Mutu Signs on for Broadway-Bound SECRET GARDEN at 5th Avenue Theatre

Broadway and West End star Tam Mutu will star as Archibald Craven in The 5th Avenue Theatre's enchanting Broadway-bound revival of The Secret Garden. Mutu joins a phenomenal cast including Tony Award winner Daisy Eagan, Tony Award nominee Josh Young, Lizzie Klemperer, Charlie Franklin and Seán G. Griffin.

Also new to the cast are Pacific Northwest natives Bea Corley as Mary Lennox, Guthrie Greenwood Bettinger and Coleman Hunter alternating the role of Colin, as well as Seattle favorite Marianne Owen as Mrs. Medlock.

This 5th Avenue production is directed by David Armstrong and created in collaboration with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., where it recently played an extended run.

The Secret Garden plays April 14-May 6 (press opening Thursday, April 20) at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle).

"Part of the incredible richness of this musical comes from the wonderfully complex characters on the page. I couldn't be happier to have such a high caliber cast to bring them all to life," said 5th Avenue Theatre Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong. "We truly searched the world over to find the right blend of talents. Our phenomenal, internationally renowned cast hails from England, New York, Los Angeles, and, of course, Seattle."

The Secret Garden was created by Grammy Award-winning composer Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman. The show's lush, melodic score and moving story of love, loss and renewal earned the 1991 Tony Award for Best Musical and won the hearts of its audiences. After 25 years, Simon and Norman are returning to their celebrated musical to revive it for contemporary audiences.

Based on the beloved children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden tells the story of 10-year-old Mary Lennox. Mary is orphaned in the British Raj of India and sent to England to live with her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven, who is tormented by grief and dreams of his late wife. Alone in a house haunted by memories and loss, Mary seeks refuge in her late aunt's mysterious walled garden. After she meets her frail cousin Colin, they discover together the secrets of the garden and ultimately bring healing and happiness to the house and all in it.

This production was created in collaboration with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. and was met with critical acclaim following a successful and extended run there during the 2016 holiday season, from November 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017.

Tickets start at $29 and may be purchased at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206-625-1900 or at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.

ABOUT THE CAST:

Tam Mutu makes his 5th Avenue debut to star as Archibald Craven. He will appear in City Center Encores! production of The New Yorkers this month after recently appearing on Broadway in the title role of Doctor Zhivago. He previously starred in the Donmar Warehouse production of City of Angels in London. In 2013, Mutu won the BroadwayWorld West End Award and the West End Frame Award for his portrayal of Javert in the West End revival of LES MISERABLES. Born in Hastings, England, Mutu is of Turkish and Italian descent and graduated from the Guildford School of Acting.

Daisy Eagan made Broadway history as the youngest female Tony Award® winner for Best Musical for her portrayal of young Mary Lennox in the original Broadway cast of The Secret Garden. Now, she returns to the show as an adult in the role of Martha. Her performance at the Shakespeare Theatre Company received great acclaim, with the Washington Post saying "in a show that's all about rebirth and renewal, it's appropriate that Eagan's light maternal touch as Martha feels like the most natural performance of the night." Eagan also appeared as a girl in LES MISERABLES (original Broadway production) and James Joyce's The Dead. Her Off-Broadway credits include Playwright's Horizons: James Joyce's The Dead. She has performed regionally in Wit, Stoneface, The Wild Party (L.A. Weekly Award: Best Featured Actress, Musical), Be Aggressive, On the Mountain, A View From The Bridge. Eagan is a published award-winning writer.

Lizzie Klemperer reprises her role as Lily Craven. Her performance at the Shakespeare Theatre Company dazzled critics, with the Washington Post saying she "gorgeously sings... with each syllable angelically sent heavenward." Her Broadway credits include Bright Star (by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Tony Award® nomination-Best Musical); her Off-Broadway credits include Madison Square Garden: A Christmas Story; City Center Encores: The Most Happy Fella. She has toured nationally with The Addams Family and Little House on the Prairie. Her regional credits include Kennedy Center: Bright Star; Portland Center Stage: Somewhere in Time; Pioneer Theatre Company: The Music Man (Marian); North Shore Music Theater: LES MISERABLES (Eponine); Sacramento Music Circus: Hair (Crissy) and Big River (Mary Jane). She has been a soloist with the Southwest Florida Symphony and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

Josh Young returns as Dr. Neville Craven after playing the role at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.His Broadway credits include Amazing Grace (John Newton, Original Cast) and Jesus Christ Superstar(Judas, Tony Award® Nomination & Theatre World Award). He has been seen in the national touring productions of LES MISERABLES (Marius) and West Side Story (Tony, 50th Anniversary International Tour). His international credits include Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Canada): 2 seasons including Evita (Che, Broadway World Award) and Grapes of Wrath (Connie Rivers, Broadway World Award).

Charlie Franklin and Seán G. Griffin return to tend the gardens of this magical world as Dickon and Ben Weatherstaff. Franklin has performed on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and The Bridges of Madison County (Original Broadway Cast) and in New York in Parade (Lincoln Center) and as Tom Sawyer Big River (City Center Encores!). His regional credits include Lord of the Flies (Denver Center) and SCKBSTD(Virginia Stage Company). He has appeared on television in Shades of Blue and received his BFA from Pace University. Griffin returns to The 5th where he performed in Carousel, ELF, Aladdin, Mame, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, Yankee Doodle Dandy! and My Fair Lady. He has appeared at all the professional theaters in Seattle, major repertory companies across the US as well as six Broadway productions. He has toured nationally and internationally. He has appeared in several films, television series and commercials.

Marianne Owen joins the cast as Mrs. Medlock. She was previously seen at The 5th in Grease. World tours include theater festivals in Europe, Israel and Moscow. She toured nationally with The Real Thing and performed regionally at American Repertory Theatre (founding member), N.Y. Public Theatre, Arizona Theatre Co., Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Rep. Theatre of St. Louis, La Jolla Playhouse, Playwrights' Horizons, Guthrie, Goodman, George St. Playhouse. Her Seattle credits include ACT Theatre, Seattle Rep, Book-It, Seattle Shakespeare Co., Seattle Children's Theatre, Empty Space, Village, Strawberry Theatre Workshop.

Bea Corley makes her 5th Avenue debut as Mary Lennox. Her regional credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Seattle Children's Theatre), Shrek (Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre) and LES MISERABLES (Village Theatre). Her youth theatre credits include Studio East.

Guthrie Greenwood Bettinger and Coleman Hunter will alternate the role of Colin Craven. Bettinger is in the 7th grade at Northwood Middle School where he sings with the jazz choir. This is his 5th Avenue debut. Previous roles include Oliver in Oliver! (Hi-Liners), Tobias in Sweeney Todd (At the Ridge) and Pugsley in The Addams Family (Kentridge HS). Hunter returns to The 5th having been previously seen as Kurt von Trapp in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music.

Brittany Baratz, Jason Forbach and Maya Mainar make their 5th Avenue debuts as Rose, Albert Lennox and Ayah, joining 5th Avenue Theatre favorites Erik Ankrim, Jared Michael Brown, Megan Chenovick, Rachel DeShon, Candice Donehoo, Mary Jo DuGaw, Nina Makino, Matthew Posner andGreg Stone.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:

Marsha Norman is an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She received the 1991 Tony Award for Best Book for The Secret Garden and received the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play 'Night, Mother. She wrote the book and lyrics for Broadway musical The Red Shoes, as well as the libretto for The Color Purple (2016 Tony Award for Best Revival) and the book for The Bridges of Madison County. She has been the co-chair of the Playwriting Program at The Juilliard School for 20 years, writes and lectures frequently on playwriting and the musical book and holds 18 honorary degrees from American colleges and Universities. Lucy Simon is a Grammy Award®-winning composer. She made her Broadway debut as the composer of The Secret Garden but is also well known for the musical production of Doctor Zhivago. She is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner for writing and performances in The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleading Murdering Mom. She has also been featured in operas internationally (Malmo Opera in Sweden: Doctor Zhivago) and in film (A Secret Wish).

Director David Armstrong is Executive Producer and Artistic Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre where he has directed acclaimed productions of Paint Your Wagon, Jaques Brel Is Alive and Well & Living in Paris; A Room with a View; Candide; Sweeney Todd; HAIR; A Little Night Music; Company; Hello, Dolly!; Anything Goes; Yankee Doodle Dandy! and the musical Scandalous, which he also directed on Broadway. Under his leadership, The 5th Avenue Theatre has become one of the nation's leading musical theater companies especially in the development and production of new work. During his tenure The 5th has produced 17 new musicals, nine of which have transferred to Broadway including two that received the Tony Award for Best Musical-Hairspray and Memphis. Mr. Armstrong's direction has been seen in New York, Los Angeles and at many leading regional theaters including The Kennedy Center, Ordway Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, ACT Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse. As a writer he has created the books for the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy! and Theatreworks USA's A Christmas Carol, which premiered Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. He devised and directed the Cole Porter revue, Hot N' Cole, which has been produced by scores of theaters across America.

Music Director Rick Fox's Broadway credits include Doctor Zhivago, Jesus Christ Superstar (2012), RENT and Blood Brothers. Regionally he has worked with Goodspeed Musicals, La Jolla Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center and at Arena Stage for Smokey Joe's Café. Internationally he spent six years as Director of Music, Stratford Festival (Canada), was Music Director for West Side Story, Evita, Cabaret and Tommy; orchestrator for Cabaret, Jacques Brel, Evita and Kiss Me Kate; composer for Caesar and Cleopatra (with Christopher Plummer); Toronto: Music Director/Conductor: Canadian premieres of The Lion King, The Producers, Rent, The Who's Tommy, and Phantom of the Opera (with Colm Wilkinson). He has music directed for television for Colm Wilkinson and Patti LuPone in Concert (PBS) and is a four-time Dora Award winner, nine-time Dora Award nominee (Outstanding Musical Direction); Bob Tilles Music Chair (Chicago); BroadwayWorld.com Award-winner (Music Direction, Jesus Christ Superstar). He has also worked with Williamstown Festival, NAMT Festival, Charlottetown Festival, New York Stage and Film Festival.

The creative team also includes Anna Louizos (scenic design), Ann Hould-Ward (costume design), Mike Baldassari (lighting design), Justin Stasiw (sound design), Mary Pyanowski Jones (hair and makeup design) and Laura Stanczyk, C.S.A. (casting).

The production will feature original orchestrations by William David Brohn, new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, original music arrangements by Michael Kosarin and arrangements by Rich Fox.

Additional staff includes Craig Baldwin (associate director), Trina Mills (associate choreographer), Gertjan Houben (associate lighting designer), Kevin Heard (associate sound designer), Lisa Nathans(dialect coach), Ratna Roy (traditional dance consultant), Joe Smelser and Jessica C. Bomball(production stage managers) and Rachael Dorman and Catherine Costanzo (assistant stage managers).

The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre is the nation's premier incubator for new musical theater. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney's Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.

Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, this non-profit theater company attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including over 25,000 subscribers-one of the largest theater subscriptions in North America.

In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs. For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, visit www.5thavenue.org.

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation's leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation's capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC's innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre-ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free for All. For the past 25 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.


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