Women's Fantasies Bloom Anew Feb. 2 in Commercial Run of My Secret Garden

News   Women's Fantasies Bloom Anew Feb. 2 in Commercial Run of My Secret Garden The new stage version of the groundbreaking 1973 book of interviews, "My Secret Garden," the tome which exposed in explicit detail the sexual fantasies of a generation of women, will move from an invitation-only showcase run to a limited commercial engagement beginning Feb. 2, producer Eric Krebs announced.
Promotional artwork for My Secret Garden.
Promotional artwork for My Secret Garden.

Opening will be Feb. 14 at the 45th Street Theatre, where the revealing showcase test production was seen (but not by the general public) starting Dec. 19, 2006. It closed Jan. 7.

Revisions were ongoing through the process, and a sharpened script will dawn in February. The re-mounted commercial run is now scheduled to run through March 11.

Christopher Scott adapted and directed the stage version of Nancy Friday's book for the earlier private three-week Off-Broadway showcase production, called My Secret Garden — not to be confused with the family-friendly musical The Secret Garden. 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 that at the tiny 99-seat 45th Street Theatre.

Four actresses — Kate Buddeke (of Broadway's recent Gypsy), McKenzie Frye, Lyn Philistine and Mimi Quillin — shared the fantasies, festishes, feelings and frolics of the anonymous women who were interviewed for the notorious book.

Continuing with the project will be Frye, Philistine, Quillin and an actress to be announced. Maximus Productions is producing in association with Eric Krebs.

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.

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

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.