Sunday was such a jam-packed, whirlwind of a day, which meant unfortunately I did not get to post! As I was lying on my sister’s couch, starting to doze at around midnight, I thought of the blog challenge and decided sleep was much more pressing than blogging. I’m currently at 35,000 feet presumably between Pennsylvania and Indiana as I draft this post. In my headphones: the Original Broadway Cast of The Secret Garden.
Last night, I attended the Manhattan Concert Productions staging of The Secret Garden in Concert. Each year, MCP stages one of these productions – past musicals include Ragtime, Parade, and Titanic. They pull out all the stops – an amazing, star-studded cast, a full orchestra, and a 200-person choir. It brings to life the music in the best possible way.
The Secret Garden originally premiered on Broadway in 1991, with Daisy Eagan as Mary Lennox. Last night, Daisy Eagan starred as Martha, a chambermaid, while the Tony-nominated Sydney Lucas starred as Mary. The rest of the cast included Sierra Boggess as Lily, Ramin Karimloo as Archibald Craven, Cheyenne Jackson as Dr. Neville Craven, Ben Platt as Dickon, Telly Leung as Fakir, Oscar Williams as Colin Cravin, Josh Young as Capt. Albert Lennox, Nikki Renee Daniels as Rose Lennox, Jere Shea as Ben Weatherstaff, and more!
The Secret Garden has been one of my favorite musicals for a long time – one that I have desperately wanted to see revived. This concert celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original production. This was pretty much a dream cast. Without a doubt, Sydney as Mary, Sierra as Lily, and Daisy as Mary were hands down, my favorite performances. When Daisy Eagan walked on stage for the first time, the crowd went wild! I don’t know that I’ve seen an entry applause quite that loud before! Daisy Eagan’s Hold On was so powerful, you could tell she was very emotional during the entire song.
Two of my favorite songs from the musical include Mary and Dickon – Show Me the Key and Wick. Ben Platt was perfectly cast at Dickon – his young charm was delightful and played off Sydney Lucas’ Mary well. I’m looking forward to seeing Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen in April! I also really loved Sydney Lucas’ The Girl I Mean to Be.
I literally had the chills at several moments during the show – especially when Storm I transitioned into Lily’s Eyes. I don’t think I will ever forget Sierra Boggess’ Come to My Garden anytime soon. Ramin Karimloo’s powerful Where in the World gave me a new appreciation for this song – I’ve listened to it several times since last night. I’ve never seen either Sierra Boggess or Ramin Karimloo live before, but they definitely perform so well together, as evidenced by the gorgeous How Could I Ever Know.
I really appreciated the use of the choir – they were subtle at times and other times enhanced the emotions of the primary singers, especially during the Storm sequence. For 200 voices, they never overpowered the principal actors.
Anyway, this was such a special performance. I wanted to write down my memories from this concert, so I can try to remember every single detail the best I can. I’m certainly no Broadway critic, as I love almost everything I see. This was special and I’m really glad I was able to attend. I failed at celebrity spotting — I know there were several notable Broadway celebrities there, and I didn’t see any of them from the third tier! Anyway, if it interests you, Broadway World has some highlights from the concert you can watch here and even more photos here!
More to come on my New York adventures…