Complete casting has been revealed for Center Theatre Group's upcoming revival of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon's The Secret Garden, set to play Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre February 19-March 26. Opening night is February 26. Warren Carlyle is directing and choreographing.
Newly joining the cast are Julia Lester (Into the Woods, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) as Martha, John-Michael Lyles (A Strange Loop) as Dickon, Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, and Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven.
Rounding out the cast will be Terron Brooks as Major Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Major Holmes, Susan Denaker as Mrs. Medlock, Kelley Dorney as Mrs. Winthrop/Cholera, Ali Ewoldt as Rose Lennox, William Foon as Colin Craven alternate, Ava Madison Gray as Mary Lennox alternate, John Krause as Captain Albert Lennox, Reese Levine as Colin Craven, Yamuna Meleth as Ayah, Cassandra Marie Murphy as Mrs. Shelley, James Olivas as Lieutenant Wright, Kyla Jordan Stone as Alice, Vishal Vaidya as Fakir, and Ariel Neydavoud, with Randi De Marco and Sam Linkowski serving as swings.
They join the previously announced Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven and newcomer Sadie Brickman Reynolds as Mary Lennox.
Based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Secret Garden features a book and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and music by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Simon. The story follows a young girl left orphaned by a cholera epidemic in British-occupied India who is sent to live with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English country estate.
READ: Meet the Young 'Theatre Nerd' Starring as Mary in Center Theatre Group's The Secret Garden
The production has been in the works for Carlyle since at least 2018, when he was announced to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 season that never materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to benefit The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund, featuring Boggess as Lily. The stream was dedicated to the late Rebecca Luker, who played the role in the original Broadway company.
Carlyle's creative team will include music supervision and additional orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, music director Dan Redfeld, scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and makeup design by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin will serve as production stage manager.
The work was first produced on Broadway in 1991, receiving six Tony Award nominations and winning Best Book of a Musical for Norman, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Heidi Ettinger, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Eagan.