BWW Review: THE SECRET GARDEN at West Fargo High
Another show I knew almost nothing about going in, but those usually end up to be some of the best ones. In the lobby before the show I did hear one attendee telling someone "most of the characters are actually dead" so that was my basic knowledge of the show before it started. I won't give a lot away because I thought it was great to be surprised.
From the hauntingly beautiful opening number all the way to the finale this performance was filled with amazing vocal performances. From the standouts that I expected to the future stars that surprised me, this whole cast put on a show that they can be very proud of. A very special nod to the 24 member pit orchestra, directed Jason Carlson, who supported the singers with beautiful background music.
Andie Peterson as Lily Craven was absolutely perfect, as usual. Her voice is so powerful and she sang every song so beautifully. Come to my Garden was probably my favorite. You will recognize Andie from her standout performance this past summer in the Trollwood production of Hello Dolly, and of course her performance as Carol Gelling in the West Fargo production of White Buffalo was another standout.
Ryan Schlepp as Archibald Craven was spot on with his singing and acting. His scenes with Mary and the interaction between the two were done so well. His singing really stood out on A Bit of Earth & Where in The World. You will also remember Ryan as Barnaby in Hello Dolly and as Mike Gelling in White Buffalo.
MaTia Martin as Martha was hilarious, and one of my favorite characters. I absolutely loved her performance on If I Had A Fine White Horse. Her interactions with Mary we so much fun, especially the bedroom scene while getting her dressed. You also saw MaTia in Hello Dolly and as Abby Gelling in White Buffalo.
The bad part about having so much talent is that sometimes you don't get to feature all of them as much as you would like. A good problem to have I guess.
Parker Degerness as Dr. Neville Craven was a great character fit, I only wish we got to hear Parker sing more. He did really stand out on Disappear!
Nolan Shea and Madi Inman as Captain Albert Lennox and Rose Lennox were both great in their parts, and did get some featured parts in a few songs in which they both shined on. 2 more I wish I could have heard more of.
Ethan Saari as Colin Craven was another fun character. He played the annoying & spoiled character perfectly and his facial expressions were great. He had a great solo performance on Lift Me Up.
Drake Aasen as Dickon was so good (and only in 9th grade) I truly hope he sticks with theatre because he has what it takes for sure. His performance on Wick (with Mary) was one of my favorites of the show.
Finally, Eva Fritz as Mary Lennox. WOW. This young lady (10th grade) has such an amazing voice and was the perfect choice to play the lead character. She held her own with all of the veteran performers and absolutely owned the stage on pretty much every song and scene. She blew me away on Show Me The Key, The Girl I am Meant to Be and Wick. Eva could be the future start of West Fargo Theatre if she wants to me.
Do yourself a favor and go see this show.