The last Musical of the Month: The Secret Garden

Julia Stanski, Editor

Secret Garden was a trailblazer in more ways than one when it premiered in 1989, but it’s most notable simply for being heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Based on the wonderful book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it follows 10-year-old orphan Mary Lennox as she unlocks the secrets of her uncle’s haunted past with the discovery of a hidden garden.  Written by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon, it was the first show with an all-female writing team to be nominated for a Tony, and its lead actress Daisy Eagan won a Tony Award at age 11 (!!!)  The original cast also featured Mandy Patinkin as Archibald Craven and Rebecca Luker as the ghost of his wife Lily.

The whole score is absolutely gorgeous, but a highlight of the show is “Lily’s Eyes”, a tragic duet between Archibald and his brother respectively revealing the grief of loss and unrequited love. It’s known as one of the best male musical theatre duets ever written. Mary’s understated Act 2 opener, “The Girl I Mean to Be”, is strangely hopeful and endearing, without being irritating as so many songs for children are (see “Tomorrow” or basically anything from Annie). That’s one of this show’s strengths; in a very quaint and British way, it stays away from caricatures and clichés, and delivers a haunting, joyful and honest story of flawed and human characters.

Sadly, Secret Garden is rarely produced due to its hefty specifications: a male-heavy cast, an exceptionally talented 10-year-old, authentic British accents on everyone and a soprano who can sing Lily’s “Come to My Garden” up in the stratosphere. But a fantastic concert recording was made for the show’s 25th anniversary in February, featuring stars like Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo (seen in Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables), Sydney Lucas (Fun Home), Ben Platt (Book of Mormon and Pitch Perfect) and Daisy Eagan herself in an adult role. Watch some snippets from it here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNvPZBy5gA ): I promise you’ll be glad you did. The Secret Garden is a perfect show for summer- an intensely sad and sweet look at healing, forgiveness and love with addictively beautiful music and irresistible characters.

 

Cappies Gala 2016

Julia Stanski, Editor

A huge congratulations to Mac’s own Jocelyn Bartolome, a fabulously talented grade 12 actress who won the Cappie Award for Best Comic Actress in a Musical at the Cappies Gala last weekend!! She’s been voted the best in the region by the students critics of this year, and I’m sure everyone who saw her portrayal of Mrs. Meers in our December production of Thoroughly Modern Millie agrees she deserves it.  Thank you to all our nominees and everyone involved in Millie who attended the Gala at the Citadel Theater on June 12; it was an amazing night and an epic celebration of student achievement in the arts. Audiences were treated to excerpts from the five plays and five musicals nominated for Outstanding Production, as well as celebrity presenters like Liz Nicholls and Matt Schuurman and an opening and closing number performed by the Cappies Chorus. Click here

http://edmontonjournal.com/gallery/photo-gallery-cappies-gala-2016

The Cappies gala celebrates the reach of high school theatre

Social Seen: Cappies

for Edmonton Journal coverage and photos of the Gala, some taken by our very own student volunteer photographers Haley Dang and Christine Videna. Best wishes for an equally amazing Cappies season and gala next year!gala 2016 jocey