Julia Lester, Aaron Lazar, John-Michael Lyles & More Complete the Cast of Sierra Boggess Led THE SECRET GARDEN

“The Secret Garden” will play at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre February 19 through March 26, 2023 and opens February 26, 2023.

By: Jan. 10, 2023
Julia Lester, Aaron Lazar, John-Michael Lyles & More Complete the Cast of Sierra Boggess Led THE SECRET GARDEN

Developed for a new generation by the original creators - Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman and Grammy Award-winning composer Lucy Simon - "The Secret Garden" cast has now been set. "The Secret Garden" will play at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre February 19 through March 26, 2023 and opens February 26, 2023. Joining the previously announced Drama Desk and Drama League nominee Sierra Boggess ("The Little Mermaid," "The Phantom of the Opera") playing Lily Craven as well as Sadie Brickman Reynolds, a Los Angeles resident taking on the adventurous 10-year-old lead as Mary Lennox, are actors Derrick Davis ("The Lion King," "The Phantom of the Opera") as lord of Misselthwaite Manor Archibald Craven, Aaron Lazar ("The Light in the Piazza," "Les Misérables") as the embittered and outspoken Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester ("Into the Woods," Disney+'s "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series") as the young and spunky housemaid of Misselthwaite Manor Martha and John-Michael Lyles ("A Strange Loop," "Sweeney Todd") as Dickon, the imaginative and caring brother of Martha.

This complete cast includes Sierra Boggess (Lily Craven), Terron Brooks (Major Shelley), Mark Capri (Ben Weatherstaff), Peyton Crim (Major Holmes), Derrick Davis (Archibald Craven), Randi De Marco (swing), Susan Denaker (Mrs. Medlock), Kelley Dorney (Mrs. Winthrop/Cholera), Ali Ewoldt (Rose Lennox), William Foon (Colin Craven alternate), Ava Madison Gray (Mary Lennox alternate), John Krause (Captain Albert Lennox), Aaron Lazar (Dr. Neville Craven), Julia Lester (Martha), Reese Levine (Colin Craven), Sam Linkowski (swing), John-Michael Lyles (Dickon), Yamuna Meleth (Ayah), Cassandra Marie Murphy (Mrs. Shelley), Ariel Neydavoud (ensemble), James Olivas (Lieutenant Wright), Sadie Brickman Reynolds (Mary Lennox), Kyla Jordan Stone (Alice), and Vishal Vaidya (Fakir).

"When the creative team came to us with the opportunity to produce this long-awaited revival, we jumped at the chance," shared Center Theatre Group Producing Director Douglas C. Baker. "'The Secret Garden' is one of those shows that audiences have been longing to see again in a new production. With its iconic score by the late great Lucy Simon, and a brilliant, updated book by Marsha Norman, and now with our first-rate cast determined, 'The Secret Garden' will bring a whole new generation to the theatre. The Ahmanson has been an important home for incredible musicals, and we are eager for L.A. audiences of all ages to be the first to experience Warren Carlyle's fresh and authentic take on this beloved musical."

"The Secret Garden" follows the young, orphaned Mary Lennox as she's sent from her home in India to live with her reclusive uncle on his haunted English country estate. Guided by an exceptionally beautiful score, audiences will be swept away with Mary's unapologetic curiosity as she is joined with the help of unlikely companions transporting her on a thrilling quest to untangle the pieces of her family's past and - most importantly - discover herself.

This revival production based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett of the same name will include book and lyrics by Marsha Norman, music by Lucy Simon, and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle. The creative team includes Rob Berman (Music Supervision and Additional Orchestrations), Danny Troob (Orchestrator), Dan Redfeld (Music Director), Jason Sherwood (Set Designer), Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Designer), Ken Billington (Co-Lighting Designer), Brian Monahan (Co-Lighting Designer), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Designer), Victoria Tinsman (Wig and Makeup Designer), Michael Donovan, CSA and Richie Ferris, CSA (Casting), as well as David Franklin (Production Stage Manager).

Nominated for seven Tony Awards and winner of Best Book of a Musical as well as two Drama Desk Awards, this enchanting musical is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's turn-of-the-century tale about understanding and compassion.

"The Secret Garden" had its world premiere in 1989 as a Virginia Stage Company production at the Wells Theatre in Norfolk, Virginia. It then premiered on Broadway in 1991, earning three Tony Awards including a win for Daisy Eagan, who is the youngest female recipient of a Tony Award to date for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. "The Secret Garden" went on to be produced all over the world, including Australia and in the U.K. by The Royal Shakespeare Company, breaking box office records before a West End run. The production is a favorite among many local and regional theatres.

Tickets for "The Secret Garden" are on sale now and start at $40. They will be available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Offices (at the Ahmanson Theatre) at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012. Performances run Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation's preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles' leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, and in collaboration with the four Associate Artistic Directors, Lindsay Allbaugh, Tyrone Davis, Neel Keller and Kelley Kirkpatrick, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1,600 to 2,100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation's leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions, and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Sierra Boggess

(Lily Craven) has been seen on Broadway in the Tony nominated musical "School of Rock," "It Shoulda Been You" directed by David Hyde Pierce, two separate engagements of the Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera" (the first for the show's 25th Anniversary and the second opposite Norm Lewis), the revival of "Master Class" (opposite Tyne Daly) and "The Little Mermaid" (Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award). London theatre credits include "Les Misérables," the 25th-anniversary concerts of "The Phantom of the Opera" at Royal Albert Hall and "Love Never Dies" (Olivier Award nomination). Other New York theatre credits include the recent Off-Broadway production of Barry Manilow's "Harmony," Manhattan Concert Productions' "The Secret Garden" at Lincoln Center; the one-night-only concert of "Guys and Dolls" at Carnegie Hall opposite Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson and Megan Mullally; the final Off-Broadway cast of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore;" and "Music in the Air" for City Center's Encores! series. She also starred as Christine Daaé in the Las Vegas production of "The Phantom of the Opera." Regionally, she has been seen in "A Little Night Music" (Barrington Stage), "Into the Woods" (Hollywood Bowl), "Ever After" (Alliance Theatre), "Age of Innocence" (world premiere, Hartford Stage and McCarter Theatre), "Princesses" (world premiere, Goodspeed Opera House and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre), and the national tour of "Les Misérables." Film and television credits include "Vulture Club" with Susan Sarandon and the web series "What's Your Emergency," directed by Michael Urie. Her recordings include "School of Rock, It Shoulda Been You," the 25th-anniversary concert of "The Phantom of the Opera" (also on DVD), the symphonic recording of "Love Never Dies," "The Little Mermaid," and Andrew Lippa's "A Little Princess." Concert appearances include the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center's American Songbook series "The Lyrics of David Zippel," The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and Broadway by the Year at Town Hall. Sierra has toured all over the world across Australia, Japan, Paris, and London with her concert show, which has been preserved live and released on CD, "Awakening: Live at 54 Below." She recently released an album of duets with Julian Ovenden made during the pandemic entitled "Together At A Distance." sierraboggess.com

Terron Brooks

(Major Shelley). Broadway: "The Lion King" (Simba), "Hairspray" (Seaweed). National Tours: "The Lion King," "Hairspray," "Grease!" Regional: "Kinky Boots" (Hollywood Bowl), "Ragtime," "Sweet Charity" (Ovation Award Nominee), "The First Wives Club," "Sleepless in Seattle." Television: Eddie Kendricks in the NBC Emmy Award-winning miniseries "The Temptations," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Ellen Degeneres Show," "The Voice," "American Idol." Two-time NAACP Award nominee for Supporting Actor, star, and co-creator of "The Soul of Broadway." Ahmanson debut. terronbrooksofficial.com

Mark Capri (Ben Weatherstaff). CTG: "Terra Nova," "Arcadia" (Mark Taper Forum), "End of the Rainbow," "Blithe Spirit" (Ahmanson Theatre), "A Perfect Wedding" (Kirk Douglas Theatre). West End: "Man and Superman" (RSC). Broadway: "Private Lives," "Blithe Spirit." Off-Broadway: "On Approval" (Roundabout, Theatre World Award). Metropolitan Opera: "Oedipus Rex," "Iphigenia En Tauride." Los Angeles Opera: "The Merry Widow." Pasadena Playhouse: "Equus," "Light Up the Sky," "Sherlock Holmes," "King Charles III." South Coast Rep: "School for Scandal," "An Ideal Husband," "Amadeus." Old Globe: "Henry V." Film: "Titanic," "The Empire Strikes Back." Trained at RADA.

Peyton Crim

(Major Holmes) was recently seen in Knot Free's L.A. production of "A Little Night Music" (Frederick). His other credits include the first U.S. national tour of "The Play That Goes Wrong" (Robert) and Off-Broadway productions of "On A Clear Day" and "Finian's Rainbow," "Brigadoon" (City Center Encores!). Other selected regional credits include: "Beauty and The Beast" (Beast), "Sweeney Todd," "Sunset Blvd.," "The Music Man," "Mary Poppins," "Peter Pan."

Derrick Davis

(Archibald Craven). Theatre: "The Phantom of the Opera" (The Phantom), "The Lion King" (Mufasa), "Ragtime" (Coalhouse Walker Jr.), "Carousel" (Billy Bigelow u/s), "The Tap Dance Kid" (William u/ s), "The Little Mermaid" (King Triton), "I Dream" (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). TV: Hallmark Channel's "One Royal Holiday," ABC's "Dangerous Liaisons," "A Christmas Tale," "The Good Fight." Concert: An Evening of Broadway/Lincoln, NE, A Journey Through Love/New York, NY, An Evening With Rodgers & Hammerstein/Las Vegas, NV. @dreamclimber

Randi De Marco

(Swing) is ecstatic to make her Center Theatre Group debut. Theatre credits include Ayah in "The Secret Garden" (3-D Theatricals) and "Evita in Concert" (Ensemble), Martha in "Spring Awakening." Voiceover: Twist Queen in "LOL Surprise! Winter Fashion Show" streaming on Netflix.

Susan Denaker

(Mrs. Medlock). Theatre-London West End: "Accidental Death of an Anarchist," "Holiday," "Budgie," "Country Life," "Blockheads;" Britain: "Frankie and Johnny...," "A Little Night Music," "Company," "Side By Side By Sondheim." U.S.: "Blithe Spirit," "My Fair Lady," "In The Heights," "The Dresser," "Sweet Bird of Youth," "Come Back Little Sheba," "Uncanny Valley," "A Winter's Tale," "Gigi." Film/TV includes: "American Friends," "Me and My Girl," "As Time Goes By" with Judi Dench, "The Woman He Loved." 120 audiobooks.

Kelley Dorney

(Winthrop/Cholera) has lived and worked in New York, L.A., and London. Local credits: "You're a Good Man ..." (Lucy) at SCR, "Nice Work ..." (Billie) at MTW, "A Gentleman's Guide ..." (Phoebe) at 3DT, "Lend Me a Tenor" (Maggie) at La Mirada, "The World Goes Round" at Reprise 2.0 and "Annie" at the Hollywood Bowl. London: workshop of "Love Never Dies" and the PBS special: "A Tale of Two Cities."

Ali Ewoldt

(Rose) has appeared as Christine Daaé in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway, Cosette in "Les Misérables" (Broadway, National Tour), in "The King and I" (Lincoln Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and as Luisa in "The Fantasticks" (Off-Broadway). Regionally, she has played Amalia in "She Loves Me" (Signature Theatre), Yook Mei in "Gold Mountain" (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Philia in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (The Muny), Fan/Mrs. Bonds in "A Christmas Carol" (McCarter Theatre), Martha Jefferson in "1776" (The Muny) and Sarah Brown in "Guys and Dolls" (Sacramento Music Circus). Ali's concert/symphony work includes: Feinstein's/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall, Canyon Ranch, NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, American Pops Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Kaohsiung Symphony and The Boston Pops. Her TV/Film credits include "The Michael J. Fox Show," "Yield," and the short films "Mia" and "The Cactus." Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina American. @aliewoldt

William Foon

(Colin alternate) is thrilled to debut at the Ahmanson. He loves singing, dancing, and acting and has performed since age six with the Peter Pan Foundation, SFCMT, Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory, The Ballet School for Performing Arts, Joy in Motion, Performing Academy and ACT Young Conservatory. Recent memorable roles include Tiny Tim in Center Rep's "A Christmas Carol," Kurt in PPF's "The Sound of Music" and the Broadway Dreams NYC showcase. @william.foon

Ava Madison Gray

(Mary alternate) is thrilled to be making her debut with CTG at the Ahmanson Theatre. Ava is 12 and has been performing in musical theatre and live venues since age five. Ava is a voiceover artist, most recognizable as JJ, Bella, and the iconic logo of "CoComelon." Her voice is also featured in "CoComelon Live: JJ's Journey" world tour, the "CoComelon Play with JJ" Nintendo Switch game, and as JJ on Cameo Kids. Ava is a National Anthem singer for Los Angeles Angels baseball team and a member of Voices of Hope Children's Choir (feat. "America's Got Talent"). @avamadisongray

John Krause

(Captain Albert Lennox) is thrilled to be making his CTG debut. Broadway: OBC "Hadestown" (Ensemble/US Orpheus), "Fun Home" (US/Roy and Others). National Tours: "Hadestown," "Wicked" and "American Idiot: The Musical." Regional: "Newsies" (Music Circus), "Rock of Ages" (Venetian, Las Vegas), "Cruel Intentions" (Various L.A. theatres). BFA: Boston Conservatory. John is also a private guitar and voice coach based in Sherman Oaks. Follow along @johnakrause.

Aaron Lazar

(Dr. Neville Craven) has starred in 11 Broadway productions. He debuted in "The Phantom of the Opera;" originated roles in the world premieres of "A Tale of Two Cities," "Impressionism" and "The Last Ship;" starred in the revivals of "A Little Night Music" and "Les Misérables" (Drama Desk Award nomination); and romanced audiences in "The Light in the Piazza" at Lincoln Center and "Live from Lincoln Center" on PBS. He last played the Ahmanson as Larry Murphy in the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning smash "Dear Evan Hansen." On film and television, Aaron can currently be seen in The Daniel's critically acclaimed film "Everything, Everywhere All At Once" and season five of "Yellowstone." He has worked with legendary directors Clint Eastwood ("J.Edgar"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Shawn Levy ("This is Where I Leave You"), Mary Harron ("The Notorious Bettie Page") and The Russo Brothers ("Avengers: Infinity War," "Avengers: Endgame"). And on television Aaron was recently one of the stars of "Filthy Rich" on FOX. Arcs on: "Quantico," "The Strain," "Girl Meets World," and "The Onion News Network." As a singer Aaron has been a guest artist with some of the world's top symphonies, including The New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, The National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center, The Boston Pops, The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at Masada, The English National Opera Orchestra and the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. His acclaimed solo concert from "Broadway to Hollywood" has played cabaret clubs and PACs around the U.S. As a producer, Mr. Lazar created the album "Broadway Lullabies," a collection of Broadway's greatest hits reimagined as lullabies for families during COVID-19, streaming everywhere. He is currently developing a limited series with Nicholas Pileggi ("Goodfellas," "Casino") and Tom Fontana ("Oz," "Monsieur Spade") based on the book "City For Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York." BA - Duke University. MFA - CCM. Aaron is an honorary board member of the Tennessee Arts Academy serving arts teachers K-12. aaronlazar.com @aaronscottlazar

Julia Lester

(Martha) currently stars as Ashlyn Moon Caswell in "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" on Disney+. This summer she made her Broadway debut as Little Red Ridinghood in the critically acclaimed production of "Into the Woods" after playing the role at New York City Center with Encores! Select TV credits: recurring roles on CBS's "Mom," Netflix's "Prince of Peoria," "Spirit: Riding Free," "Spirit: Pony Tales," and Amazon Prime's "Mr. Student Body President." Guest starring roles include Nickelodeon's "Game Shakers," "The Thundermans," and "Bella and the Bulldogs." Select L.A. theatre: Carrie in "Carrie: The Musical," Natalie in "Next to Normal," and Bret in "Calvin Berger." Season four of "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" is set to release in 2023.

Reese Levine

(Colin). Recent Credits: Billy - "School of Rock," Young Charlie - "Kinky Boots," Chip - "Beauty and the Beast," James - "James and the Giant Peach." TV: "Side Hustle" (Nickelodeon), "Barry" (HBO). @reesemlevine

Sam Linkowski

(Swing). Actor, singer, songwriter, and teacher. UCLA TFT: "Bent" (Horst), "Spring Awakening," "The Mineola Twins," "Lainie Kazan's Cabaret." Regional: "Into the Woods" (Jack), "Show Search LA" (Lead), "Full Monty," "Urinetown," "Sound of Music." Music director: "Bye Bye Birdie," "Matilda." Over COVID, he began a performing arts school for young people in L.A. and O.C.

John-Michael Lyles

(Dickon). Broadway: "A Strange Loop" (The Lyceum). Off-Broadway: "Sweeney Todd" (Barrow), "This Ain't No Disco" (Atlantic), "The Flick" (Barrow), "Brooklynite" (Vineyard), "Love Life," "Big River" and "1776" (Encores!). Regional: "Bliss" (5th Ave), "The Art of Falling" (Second City), "Choir Boy" (Guthrie). TV: "The Other Two." "Chicago PD," "NCIS: New Orleans." Film: "Blind." Writing: "Shoot For The Moon," additional music for "We're Gonna Die" (Second Stage), Vivace Award Winner. @jmlyles1

Yamuna Meleth

(Ayah) received her master's in vocal performance from the University of Northern Colorado. She was most recently seen in "Maya" and Off-Broadway in "The Office! A Musical Parody." Yamuna is from Birmingham, AL and currently resides in Los Angeles. @iamyams @hinduitive

Cassandra Marie Murphy

(Mrs. Shelley). International Tour: "Miss Saigon" (Macau, China). Resident Artist at A Noise Within. Select Regional: Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses," "Bridges of Madison County," "Evita," "Man of La Mancha," "Les Misérables," "Hunchback of Notre Dame," Shakespeare's "Henry V," "Frozen: Live at the Hyperion." Soundtracks: Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" (Alan Silvestri), Disney's "Mickey and the Magical Map." IG: @cassandramariemurphy

Ariel Neydavoud

(Ensemble) was recently in "The Visitor" at The Public Theater and sang on the original cast album. Prior to that he starred as The Caliph in "Kismet" under the direction of Emmy Award winner Lonny Price. Other selected credits: Prospect Theatre Company, NYMF, Two River Theatre, Perelman PAC, Marriott Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, ACT of CT, Reprise! 2.0, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Musical Theatre West, 3-D Theatricals. Instagram/TikTok: @arielneydavoud

James Olivas

(Lieutenant Wright) is honored to make his Ahmanson debut with this wonderful cast and team. Recent credits include Richard Bailey in "Kinky Boots" at the Hollywood Bowl, Dwayne in the NYC Workshop of "Betty Boop!," and Joe Hardy in Musical Theatre West's "Damn Yankees." Film/TV credits include Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Stories," Kristen Bell's "Encore!" and "The Brink Of." IG: @jamesdolivas

Sadie Brickman Reynolds

(Mary Lennox) is a joyous 11-year-old and an old soul at heart. A Los Angeles native, she is a sixth grader at a performing arts middle school. She also attends the Conservatory of Fine Arts through LAUSD's gifted and talented program. Local theatre performances include "Annie" and "Aladdin." Sadie enjoys voiceovers and dubbing; recent roles include Tess the Crane in "Thomas the Train" and Dalimi in "Doremi Dalimi." In her free time, Sadie enjoys singing, dancing, playing with her seven-year-old beatboxing brother Hudson, cuddling with her two cats July and August, and creating Toca videos on her YouTube channel (TocaSadie). She loves to write and is drafting her own sequel to "Wicked" (her goal is to work with Idina Menzel). She hails from a family of performing artists and wishes to thank her mom and dad for their love, support, and guidance. sadiereynolds.com

Kyla Jordan Stone

(Alice) is ecstatic to be making her CTG debut in the theatre she saw her first show at the age of five. You may have seen her on tour as the first Black Anya in "Anastasia," or at The Muny as Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde." Other credits include: Johanna ("Sweeney Todd"), Judy Bernly ("9 to 5"), and the Leading Player ("Pippin"). BFA Theatre Performance, Chapman University. IG: @kylastone

Vishal Vaidya

(Fakir). Ahmanson debut. Broadway: "Groundhog Day." Off-Broadway: "Merrily We Roll Along" (New York Theatre Workshop), "Road Show" and "1776" (City Center), "Einstein's Dreams" (Prospect). Regional: "Come Fall in Love" (Old Globe), "Swept Away" (Berkeley Rep), "How to Succeed" (Kennedy Center), "DAVE" (Arena Stage), "Music Man" (Olney Theatre), "Frog and Toad" (Adventure Theatre - Helen Hayes nomination). IG: @vishgram