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What would it take for a hit revival of THE SECRET GARDEN?
Last Edit: GrumpyMorningBoy 05:32 pm EST 12/31/18
Posted by: GrumpyMorningBoy 05:31 pm EST 12/31/18

I hadn't listened to the score in ages, and put it on today. Goodness me, this score is even better than I remember it being.

There's SO MUCH MUSIC. Egads. And so much of it is just so gorgeously composed, lush, transporting.

What would it take to make a hit revival of this show? Is there room on Broadway for a childrens musical based on a literary treasure? I suppose the same could be same of MATILDA, and if that can be a hit, THE SECRET GARDEN could again.

For starters, with today's ADD-fueled children, I do think they'd need to make some cuts to the songs that are a bit incidental. ("It's A Maze," "Come Spirit, Come Charm," some of the ensemble singing like the "Storm" sequences).

They'd need a visionary creative with really fresh ideas. Julie Taymour, Michael Arden, or maybe Julian Crouch (SHOCKHEADED PETER) or Roger Rees / Alex Timbers.

Or maybe some brilliant visual artist whose name we don't know yet. Either way, it needs to LOOK like nothing we've never seen before.

And new orchestrations. They'd never get a pit orchestra that big. Maybe super fresh / cool / orchestrations. (I still think Sarah Travis's arrangements for the Doyle SWEENEY TODD are a high water mark for fresh sounds with minimal pieces).

But I don't think it needs a star. No one bigger than, say, Laura Benanti as Lily or Annaleigh Ashford as Martha. Give the Patinkin role to Stephen Pasquale and you're golden.

I'd invest! Who's got the itching to see a new production?

- GMB
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