O- The Mhigan DalySummer Weeky- Wednesday, May 5,1993
MNuill 'Secret Garden' blooms and enchants
By MELISSA ROSE BERNARDO
Since the enormously successful
"Annie," no Broadway musical has
explicitly aimed itself to children and
adults alike. But enter "The Secret.
Garden," a musical so fresh, honest
and (this is important) believable that
you cannot help being enchanted. (Be-
The Secret Garden
April 28, 1993
lievability is not always a factor in
candles, suffocating blanket of dry ice
Hopefully, you have a shovel.) The
Fisher Theatre's stunning performance
of "The SecretGarden,"while at times
over-zealous, was overall unpreten-
The show's problems were fortu-
nately few. Kevin McGuire's perfor-
mance as Archibald Craven was admi-
ever, he seemed to be struggling to
assume the"gloomy, miserablecripple"
role ascribed to his character. His dia-
logue was too recitative (that is, every
word was too accented), and his voice
too thin to indicate comfortin the role.
ible hump in hisback for the first act(it
appeared to grow in the second act).
However, McGuire was golden in the
uplifting "Race You to the Top of the
As Archibald's evil brother Dr.
Neville Craven, Douglas Sills was ob-
viously comfortable, but perhaps too
comfortable. Sills seemed to be trying
so hard to be sinister that he glossed
Eyes," Sills' voice was disturbingly
nasal, disappointing since the song is
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feelings for his brother's wife.
However, powerful performances
guided theaudienceinto the enchanted
story of a little orphan girl who finds
healing in a garden, and helps in the
healing of others in her life.
The young Demaree Alexanderwas
lovely as Mary Lennox, the precocious
little girl searching for healing. The
role was originated by the Tony-win-
ning Daisy Eagan, who will always
haunt the role. However, Alexander
shed Eagan's shadow with her pure
anduncorruptedvoice,especially in "I
Heard Someone Crying" and "Wick."
Adding rustic charm were Roger
Bart and Amanda Naughton as (re-
spectively) Dickon and Martha. "The
ensemble wasstrong (especiallyKevin
Dearinger and Jacquelyn Piro ), even
as they were reduced to floating across
the stage as flashbacks and extras.
Completing the circleofstrong per-
formers who comprise the world of
"The Secret Garden" was Ann
aunt Lily. Runolfsson showed off her
flawless soprano by barely singing,
and letting loudness creep out at care-
fully monitored moments. Whether
standing perfectly still or floating
through a waltz, Runolfsson's Lily
was thepinnacleofgrace. Itis interest-
ing when a ghost upstages the living
The production accomplished its
goals-highlighting the development
of relationships, and portraying that
healing process honestly and accessi-
bly for children. But you are never too
old to enjoy "The Secret Garden."
HE SECRET GARDEN plays at the
Fisher Theatre through May 19. Call
the Fisher at 872-100 .
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TEMPLE BETH EMETH
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Rabbi Robert Levy
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S.lMIAY: Worship-9:30 a.m.
1511 Wa-htenaw,ear HitSt.
Pastor Ed Krauss 663-5560
Sale- thr May 18,1993
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