Exclusive: Max Von Essen Joins Rebecca Luker and Daisy Eagan for Secret Garden Benefit | Playbill

News Exclusive: Max Von Essen Joins Rebecca Luker and Daisy Eagan for Secret Garden Benefit
Tony Award-nominated An American in Paris star Max von Essen will play Dr. Neville Craven in the upcoming Off-Broadway benefit performances of the Tony-winning musical The Secret Garden.
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Daisy Eagan, who won a Tony Award as the original Mary Lenox in Broadway's Secret Garden, will host the Jan. 11 and 17, 2016 benefit concerts at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Newly-added to the cast are Tamika Lawrence (The Wiz Live!) as Rose, Tom Deckman (A Funny Thing Happened...) as Dickon and Frances Mercanti-Anthony (Jerusalem) as Mrs. Medlock.

They join previously announced original Secret Garden star Rebecca Luker as Lily, Bill Nolte as Ben, Gabriella Pizzolo (the newest young star of Broadway's Fun Home) as Mary Lenox, Eli Tokash (Finding Neverland) as Colin, Ali Ewoldt (The King and I) as Ayah and Cortney Wolfson (Kinky Boots) as Martha.

The ensemble includes Lacey Angerosa, Zech Azazi, Phillip Claflin, Michael Gioia, Emma Grimsley, Megan Johnson, Travis Kent, Jenna Miller and Michael Yeshion. The Lucy Simon-Marsha Norman musical is being staged as a benefit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York and Western New York. Curtis Holbrook (If/Then) will direct and choreograph the benefit. Show time is 7:30 PM both nights.

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The Secret Garden opened at the St. James Theatre in April 1991, playing 709 performances before closing Jan. 3, 1993. The musical is based on the famed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The original Broadway cast also featured Mandy Patinkin, Alison Fraser, Robert Westenberg and John Cameron Mitchell.

The benefit is produced by Friends in Theater Company’s Phil Accorso and Meryl Ballew, State of Play Productions, with Michael Hull and Alex Rubin. Jonathan Rose is music director for the evening.

Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased by visiting friendsintheater.com or by calling (212) 352-3101. The Lortel Theatre is located at 121 Christopher Street.

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