Leading up to The Kelsey Awards on Saturday, July 25th, we will be highlighting the five musicals nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical. Today, we’ll take a glance at Pierrot Production’s The Secret Garden.
An 11-year-old girl is about to bring some joyful changes to a household desperately in need of better times. In the fall of 2014, Pierrot Productions presented the Kelsey Award nominated and Tony Award winning musical based on the children’s classic, The Secret Garden, at Kelsey.
Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson, the show is set in the early years of the 20th century. Mary Lennox is an English girl born and raised in India during the British Raj. Orphaned by a cholera outbreak, she is sent to Yorkshire, England, to live on the estate of her embittered, reclusive Uncle Archibald and his invalid son, Colin. Mary is befriended by a young chambermaid, Martha, and her brother, Dickon, as well as the estate’s kindly old gardener, Ben Weatherstaff. Soon she is engrossed in bringing the neglected garden back to life. And as the garden begins to blossom, so too does Mary, Cousin Colin and, ultimately, Uncle Archibald.
The musical’s book and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1991 and was the winner of five Tony Awards. It ran for 709 performances.
The cast starred Morgan Wambach of Mapleshade as Mary Lennox; Bill Kamps of Burlington as Archibald Craven; Katie Rochon of Lawrenceville as Lily Craven; Jeff Price of Monmouth Junction as Neville Craven; Noah Hinsdale of Princeton Junction as Colin Craven; Jim Petro of Hamilton as Albert Lennox; Nicole Spadafino of Flemington as Rose Lennox; Samantha Sharpe of Basking Ridge as Martha; Noah Barson of Richboro as Dickon; Kyla Donnelly of Levittown, Pa., as Mrs. Medlock; Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville, Pa., as Ben Weatherstaff; and Jenne Carey of Princeton as Ayah. Also featured are Dwayne Bailey of Hamilton as Major Shelly; Reba Holley of Pennington as Mrs. Shelly; Wayne Irons of Princeton as Lt. Shaw; Ellen LaCorte of Titusville as Mrs. Holmes; Alan Naidoff of Princeton as Lt. Wright; Amanda Ramus of Fairless Hills as Alice; and John Russell of Mercerville as Major Holmes. The vocal ensemble includes Haley Ackermann of Maple Shade as Betsy; Lindsay Deal of Clementon as Jane; and Mary Lynch of Maple Shade as Miss Winthrop. Members of the children’s chorus are Mary Rose Brendel of Cranbury, Teddy Brendel of Cranbury, Julia Underwood of Maple Shade, Julia Patella of Cranbury, Vidhi Sapru of West Windsor, Sofia Staub of Hamilton and Madeline Fox of Lawrenceville.
The production team includes producer Pete LaBriola, director Kat Ross Kline and music director Peter De Mets. Jaci D’Ulisse is the assistant director, stage manager and set designer. M. Kitty Getlik is the lighting and sound designer.
2015 KELSEY AWARD NOMINATIONS
- Outstanding Lighting Design
- Outstanding Costume & Make-up Design
- Outstanding Choreography
- Outstanding Vocal & Music Direction
- Outstanding Direction of a Musical
- Singer of the Year (Samantha Sharpe as “Martha”)
- Outstanding Kelsey Theatre Debut (Jeff Price as “Dr. Neville Craven”)
- Outstanding Musical Number (“I Heard Someone Crying”)
- Villain of the Year (Jeff Price as “Dr. Neville Craven”)
- Outstanding Theatrical Romantic Couple (Bill Kamps & Katie Rochon as “Archibald Craven” & “Lily Craven”)
- Outstanding Young Performer (Morgan Wambach as “Mary Lennox”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical (Samantha Sharpe as “Martha”)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (Jeff Price as “Dr. Neville Craven”)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical (Katie Rochon as “Lily Craven”)
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (Bill Kamps as “Archibald Craven”)
- Outstanding Production of a Musical