For Immediate Release
March 29, 2012
Media Contact: Katie Rosin / Kampfire PR
917-562-5670 / Katie@kampfirefilmspr.com
THE ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Recipient of Best Musical 2010 NYIT Award for Children of Eden
“Elegant, entrancing…The best American musical of the Broadway season.”- Time Magazine (Broadway 1991)
“The first original voices in musical theatre that America has produced since Sondheim.” - Lanford Wilson
“A splendid, intelligent musical…It’s all you can hope for in children’s theatre. But the best surprise is that this show is the most adult new musical of the season.” - USA Today (Broadway 1991)
THE SECRET GARDEN
Book and Lyrics by MARSHA NORMAN
Music by LUCY SIMON
Based on the novel by FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT
Starring Jane Bunting*, Mario Castro, Marisa DEVETTA*, Jennifer Evans*, Britain Gebhardt, Jonathan Gregg*, Clint J. Hromsco, Jaimie Kelton*, Hannah Lewis, Michael Jennings Mahoney*, Benjamin J. McHugh*,
Mary-Elizabeth Milton, Eric Morris*, JAN-PETER PEDROSS*, Lia Peros, Jason Pintar, Sam Poon*, Patrick Porter*, Spencer Robinson, Jacqueline Sydney*, Richard Vernon*, Elizabeth Wharton
*Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association. AEA approved showcase.
Musical staging by CHRISTINE O’GRADY
Musical direction by JEFFREY CAMPOS
Directed by TOM WOJTUNIK
MAY 3 – 19, 2012 AT THE GOOD SHEPHERD METHODIST CHURCH
OPENING NIGHT IS SATURDAY, MAY 5 AT 8 P.M.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT APACNY.ORG
THE ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC) is pleased to 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*, Jan-Peter Pedross*, Lia Peros, Jason Pintar, 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.
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-44 Crescent St (@30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102
Directions: Take the N or Q Subway to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave. to Crescent St. (Mount Sinai Hospital is on the corner.) Walk one block South to 30th Road. Turn left on Crescent Street. Walk one block south, then turn right onto 30th Rd. Entrance is second set of red doors on left.
Running Time: 135 minutes
Frances Hodgson Burnett (original novel) November 24, 1849 - October 29, 1924. Burnett was an English playwright and author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Born Frances Eliza Hodgson in Manchester, England, her family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee, after the death of her father in 1864. Frances soon found herself the head of a family of four younger siblings when her mother died in 1867. She turned to writing to support the family. Soon she was being published regularly in Godey's, Scribner's Monthly, Peterson's Ladies' Magazine and Harper's Bazaar. Her main writing talent was combining realistic detail of working-class life with a romantic plot. In 1886 she published Little Lord Fauntleroy. It was originally intended as a children's book, but had a great appeal to mothers. It created a fashion of long curls (based on her son Vivian's) and velvet suits with lace collars (based on Oscar Wilde's attire). The book sold more than half a million copies. Her later works include Sara Crewe (1888) - later rewritten as A Little Princess (1905); The Lady of Quality (1896) - considered one of the best of her plays; and The Secret Garden (1909) - for which she is probably best known today. From the mid-1890s she lived mainly in England, but in 1909 she moved back to the United States, after having become a. citizen in 1905. Frances Hodgson Burnett died in Plandome, New York, and is buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
Marsha Norman (Book and Lyrics) received the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for The Secret Garden. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘night, Mother. For that play, she also received the coveted Hull-Warriner Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her first play, Getting Out, received the Gassner Medallion and the Newsday Oppenheimer Award. Her other plays include Third and Oak, The Laundromat, The Pool Hall, Sarah and Abraham, and Loving Daniel Boone. She has also published a novel, The Fortune Teller. Norman also wrote the libretto for the Broadway musical The Color Purple. She has received grants from the National Endowment, the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Lucy Simon (Music) made her Broadway debut with The Secret Garden, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Score. Fanny Hackabout Jones, a collaboration with Erica Jong and Susan Birkenhead, was produced at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. Ms. Simon also contributed songs to the Off-Broadway hit A…My Name is Alice. In addition to her musical theatre work, Ms. Simon has won two Grammy Awards for her In Harmony albums, which she wrote and produced, and has recorded two solo albums for RCA Records. Ms. Simon began her professional singing, composing and recording career at 16, with her sister Carly, as part of the Simon Sisters. She lives in New York with her husband David Levine and their children, Julie and James.
Tom Wojtunik (Director) is the artistic director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), where he directed The Human Comedy, Children of Eden (NY IT Award, Outstanding Musical), The Pillowman, Ragtime and Proof. Other NY credits: It Is Done (Mean Fiddler Bar); The Play About the Naked Guy, Edenville (NY IT Award Nomination for Best Director, Emerging Artists Theatre); Grease 3: Threase (UCB/The Pit), The Miss Education of Jenna Bush (FringeNYC, Best Solo Show & Audience Favorite); Bright Lights, Big City (Marymount Manhattan College); The Who’s Tommy, Man of La Mancha, Six Degrees of Separation, Urinetown (NY IT Award, Outstanding Musical), Take Me Out (Gallery Players); I'm In Love With Your Wife (Midtown International Theatre Festival); The Good Thief and Rum and Vodka (Prospect St). Tom was a Resident Director for the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where directed workshops of Bella Via and David’s Play. Tom is a member of EAT and the LCT Directors’ Lab. BFA: Marymount Manhattan College. SDC Member.
ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC), The Astoria Performing Arts Center, Inc. (APAC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2001with a mission to bring high quality theater and entertainment to Astoria/Long Island City and to support local youth and senior citizens. APAC is a professional theater company that complements a full season of award-winning mainstage productions with unique community programming.
Each year, APAC produces musicals and plays. We are also invested in developing new works of American theater, through readings and workshops. Our mainstage productions have been recognized for their quality and exceptional production values. To date, APAC has received fifteen New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and four wins (Children of Eden & Ragtime), as well as an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Review Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Is There Life After High School?).
APAC also offers annual community programs for children and senior citizens Examples includes a free musical theater performance program for children ages 8-13 (Summer Stars – 9 years running),an after school playwriting program for middle school students (Astoria Playmaking – 7 years running, and Senior Stars, a performance program for Queens residents over the age of 60.
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