Based on the Groundbreaking Book, My Secret Garden Opens Feb. 14 in NYC

News   Based on the Groundbreaking Book, My Secret Garden Opens Feb. 14 in NYC The new stage version of Nancy Friday's groundbreaking 1973 book of interviews, "My Secret Garden," the tome which exposed in explicit detail the sexual fantasies of a generation of women, opens a limited commercial engagement Feb. 14 after previews since Feb. 2.

The run of My Secret Garden follows an invitation-only four-actress showcase that inspired buzz in the community. Performances play at the 45th Street Theatre, where producer Eric Krebs' revealing showcase test production was seen (but not by the general public) Dec. 19, 2006-Jan. 7.

Revisions were ongoing through the private tryout process, and a sharpened script dawned Feb. 2. The re-mounted commercial run is now scheduled to run through March 11.

Christopher Scott and Friday adapted and Scott directed the stage version of Friday's book. Like the book, the show is called My Secret Garden — not to be confused with the family-friendly musical The Secret Garden.

Four actresses — Jane Blass (replacing Kate Buddeke), McKenzie Frye, Lyn Philistine and Mimi Quillin — share the fantasies, fetishes, feelings and frolics of the anonymous women who were interviewed for the notorious book.

For the earlier showcase, admission was by invitation only (to friends and colleagues of the cast, creatives and producers, plus media and others). No admission was charged for the Equity showcase run at the tiny 99-seat 45th Street Theatre. Maximus Productions is producing in association with Eric Krebs.

The My Secret Garden creative team includes scenic designer Bernard Grenier, lighting designer Ben Hagen and costume designer Michele Reisch.

All tickets for the new engagement are $50. Performances will play Mondays at 8 PM, Tuesdays at 8 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 3 PM & 8 PM, Sundays at 3 PM & 8 PM. For information call Smarttix.com at (212) 868-4444.

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How frank is the material? Don't bring the kids.

"It makes The Vagina Monologues look like a trip to the Piggly Wiggly," said spokesperson Judy Jacksina.

According to a statement, "When Mr. Scott originally approached Mr. Krebs with his incendiary adaptation, it quickly became obvious to the team that a quietly produced showcase where such radical material could be methodically and creatively explored was the correct and cautious choice."

Thus, the invitation-only plan. Cynics might say there is no better way to create a buzz about a show than forbidding people to experience it.

"My Secret Garden" was a best-selling sensation in the 1970s. At the time, Ms. Magazine judged Friday this way: "This woman is not a feminist."

Friday's books include "My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies," "Forbidden Flowers: More Women's Sexual Fantasies," "My Mother, Myself: The Daughter's Search for Identity," "Men in Love, Men's Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love Over Rage," and more.

Friday would regularly return to the interview format in her subsequent books on themes ranging from mothers and daughters, sexual fantasies, relationships, jealousy, envy, feminism and beauty.

Producer Eric Krebs' credits include Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home, Neil Simon's The Dinner Party, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues (nominated for 1999 Tony Award for Best Musical), and Electra starring Zoe Wanamaker, as well as Laughing Liberally, Langston Hughes's Little Ham, The Capitol Steps, bash by Neil LaBute, and This is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan.

Director Scott most recently co-choreographed the opening number for this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. His numerous directing credits include the Off-Broadway hits Golf: The Musical, The Big Bang, the original production of Broadway Kids Sing Broadway as well as the show's successful run at the Lamb's Theatre. As the artistic associate of Amas Musical Theatre, he's been an instructor and director with the Rosetta LeNoir Musical Theatre Academy for the past ten years.

Jane Blass, Mimi Quillin, Lyn Philistine, McKenzie Frye in <i>My Secret Garden</i>.
Jane Blass, Mimi Quillin, Lyn Philistine, McKenzie Frye in My Secret Garden. Photo by Richard Termine