The Secret Garden – a tale of love and hopeJan 21, 2021 11:16AM ● By Becky Ginos
CENTERVILLE—Experience the power of friendship and love in CenterPoint Legacy Theatre’s presentation of “The Secret Garden.” The musical is a bittersweet tale of despair turned into triumph as one young girl changes herself and those around her.
The story unfolds as 10-year-old Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in India, is orphaned when her parents die from cholera. She is sent to live with her uncle Archibald – a man she has never met – in Yorkshire, England. Mary finds herself in the dark and gloomy halls of Misslethwaight Manor where Archibald has mourned his wife Lily’s passing for the last 10 years.
Shuffled away by the stern housekeeper, Mary is told to stay in her room and not to bother her uncle. When she strikes up a friendship with Martha the maid, she finds comfort in playing outside in the garden. However, she is forbidden to go into her aunt Lily’s garden that has become overgrown from years of neglect.
When Martha’s brother Dickon, the groundskeeper, gives her some seeds and teaches her to talk to a bird, she stumbles upon a key to The Secret Garden. Mary keeps the discovery to herself in an attempt to hide it from her uncle.
Then one day as she’s roaming the halls of the manor, she finds Colin Craven, Archibald’s sickly son who was born just before his mother died. Colin is spoiled and cantankerious and the pair squabble until he sends her away. Not to be deterred, Mary visits Colin again until she’s ordered to leave by Archibald’s brother Dr. Neville Craven who is Colin’s caretaker.
Mary convinces Colin he should go outside with her and soon the two are fast friends. With the help of Martha and Dickon, they retreat into the Secret Garden where Colin grows stronger each day until he’s able to leave his wheelchair and walk on his own.
In the meantime, Archibald flees to Paris to escape the painful memories of his beloved Lily. Mary writes to him, pleading for his return. The letter touches his heart calling him back to the manor. He is shocked when Colin walks to him without help.
The Secret Garden is filled with haunting melodies sung by a talented cast. Caroline Drake is delightful as Mary and Zach Watts’ voice fills the stage as Archibald.
When Mary takes her uncle into the garden that they have brought back to life, Archibald is touched, turning his despair into hope. The show ends on a high note as the cast sings “Come into My Garden.”
The Secret Garden plays Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7:30 p.m. through Jan. 30. For more information and to buy tickets visit https://centerpointtheatre.org.