Women's Fantasies Come Alive in My Secret Garden Beginning Dec. 19

News   Women's Fantasies Come Alive in My Secret Garden Beginning Dec. 19
The groundbreaking 1973 book of interviews, "My Secret Garden," which exposed in explicit detail the sexual fantasies of a generation of women, arrives on the New York stage Dec. 19.

But to unlock the gate of this garden, you will need a special invitation.

Christopher Scott has adapted and directs the stage version of Nancy Friday's book for a private three-week Off-Broadway showcase production, called My Secret Garden — not to be confused with the family-friendly musical The Secret Garden. Admission is by invitation only (to friends and colleagues of the cast, creatives and producers, plus media and others). No admission will be charged for the Equity showcase run that will play to Jan. 7, 2007, at the tiny 99-seat 45th Street Theatre.

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

After its showcase run, producer Eric Krebs will shepherd the show to a full, commercial Off-Broadway run open to the general public at the same theatre, on West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Maximus Productions is producing in association with Eric Krebs. 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."

(Cynics might say there is no better way to create a buzz about a show than forbidding people to experience it.)

The invited-only showcase performances are Dec. 19 at 8 PM, Dec. 20 at 5 PM & 8 PM, Dec. 21 at 5 PM, Jan. 3, 2007, at 5 PM, Jan. 4 at 5 PM, Jan. 5 at 5 PM, Jan. 5 at 8 PM, Jan. 6 at 3 PM, Jan. 6 at 8 PM, Jan. 7 at 3 PM.

"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.

For My Secret Garden, scenery is by Bernard Grenier, lighting is by Ben Hagen, costumes are by Michele Reisch and music is by Michael Roberts.

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.

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