The Secret Garden

★★★★
Lucky Penny Productions
Through Oct. 4

56030b1dacca2.image“A lovely, occasionally very moving, splendidly put-together musical adaptation of the classic novel. The script by Marsha Norman takes a few creative liberties with the book, but without harming the tone of the original, and the songs, by Norman
and composer Lucy Simon (Carly’s sister) are lush, emotional, and haunting. Speaking of “haunting,” one of Norman’s inventions is the addition of “dreamers,” ghosts who wander the halls of Mistlethwaite Manor and act as a kind of Greek chorus, only enhances the novel’s feeling of death, sadness and gloom giving way to regeneration, happiness and life. The pace faltered once or twice, speeding through a few moments that might have benefitted from a bit more dramatic pause, but the direction was strong, the cast was delightful; and incredibly fine voice (it helps to have some of the best singers in the North Bay in your cast), and the moment when a garden swing slowly defends from the rafters for Mary to swing and sing on, was actually pretty of thrilling. There are only three more shows, but if you were considering taking the trip to see it, you should definitely snap up a ticket while they are still available

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