The Secret Garden
Based upon the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Directed by Michael J. Bobbit
Produced by Adventure Theatre
Reviewed by Jonny Perl
Like a ballet that tells a story, The Secret Garden opens with a series of magnificent tale-telling dances. A snake in India is cleverly charmed. Mary’s parents suffer a horrid death from cholera and Mary is shipped off on a long journey to the estate of her guardian, Uncle Craven across the ocean. This is just one of the many poetic dances choreographed by the talented Dana Tai Soon Burgess in The Secret Garden.
Now in England, we are quickly introduced to Mrs. Medlock, the head servant of Misselthwaite Manor and a character we love to hate. She is skillfully played by Teisha Duncan. We are also introduced to Dr. Sturgess, Mr. Craven’s evil brother, comically played by John C. Bailey. He had the entire audience laughing throughout the show. Finally, we are meet Martha, a young and energetic servant, brilliantly played by Stacie Hering. We get to know Mary Lennox. She is “Mary, Mary quite contrary,” a difficult child used to ordering her servants to do as she says.
When Mary goes outside to play, she befriends a robin-red breast, a puppet danced around the stage by the ghost of Mrs. Craven. The robin shows her the way to the secret garden, a garden which was locked up and hidden after Mr. Craven’s wife died. Mary later shows the garden to Dicken, a young boy played outstandingly by Andrew Sonntag and to Colin, Mr. Craven’s son played excellently by Michael McCarthy. The three children bring the garden back to life and in the show’s finale; we see flowers, plants, and animals of all sorts growing and living in the garden. The growth of the garden represents the characters’ development and transformation throughout the show.
My favorite character in The Secret Garden is Mary Lennox played by Emily Price. She gives a radiant performance throughout the entire production. I couldn’t help smiling while seeing her throw tantrums on stage when Martha won’t undress her. She acted incredibly well, as well as danced to the Indian songs of the show perfectly.
Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of The Secret Garden for putting on such a wonderfully beautiful production. This is a show kids will love, but if you don’t have a kid… come anyway! I highly recommend this show for anybody age five to one hundred and five!
Running Time: 60 Minutes without an intermission
When: Through December 16th . Saturdays & Sundays, 11 am & 1:30 pm, Special performances: Fridays, Nov 30 & Dec 7 at 7 pm, Monday & Tuesday, Dec 3 & 4, 10 am & 11:30 am
Where: Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo Park 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, MD 20812
Info: Recommended for 5+ Call 301 634-2270 or visit the website
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About our Reviewer:
Jonny Perl, 12, is in the seventh grade at Loiederman Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts. He is thrilled to be writing for DC Theatre Scene. He loves to perform, especially musical theatre. He dances tap and jazz and can sing from a low “E” to a high “A”. His favorite musical is “Hairspray”. When Jonny is not performing, he enjoys taking care of his three younger sisters.