Monday, January 20, 2014

"lift me up and lead me to the garden where life begins anew…."

Last night was rehearsal night for The Secret Garden. We've been at this for three weeks now - each rehearsal more intense than the one before. For those of y'all who aren't familiar with The Secret Garden musical, it's the same story as the classic children's book - it focuses a little more on the adults in the story than the book does, but it's still the same message.

We're doing the Broadway show - it was written in the early 90s and ran for a couple years in New York City. The music is the most challenging I've encountered yet, and it's been quite an experience for all of us so far.

To be honest, the first time I heard the soundtrack, I thought, "This is weird. This is not pretty." But the third time through, this little gem of a show began to grow on me, and now I'm pretty much in love with it. It's a score like no other, and has a magical lilt to it - almost ethereal. The show is sung-through, which means very little talking and mostly singing - and much of the singing is almost counterpoint, which is fun, beautiful, and really hard. *smile*

For my theatre-loving friends who are interested - here are some songs to listen to/skim through (the parenthesis are my favorite parts) to get a feel for this forgotten treasure: "I Heard Someone Crying" - Mary, Lily, Archie (1:50 - when the trio starts) // "Show Me the Key" - Dickon, Mary (all of it! beautiful lilt - this one was magic during rehearsal) // "Wick" - Dickon and Mary (start 2:00 till end - this song is so beautiful it makes me cry from joy - no joke) // "Come to My Garden/Lift Me Up" - Lily and Colin (start 1:47) // "Lily's Eyes" - Archie and Neville (3:07 - the key change - ahhh!) // "Winter's on the Wing" - Dickon (1:00 to 1:22 ish, 2:00 to the end) // AHHH! Just listen to the whole show. There are so many songs I haven't mentioned….*sigh*

Our part of the ensemble has been dubbed by the "Adult Deceased Ensemble" - morbidly amusing, to say the least. The gist is we're the ghosts of the past, narrating the story, setting the scenes through song and symbolsm. It isn't the most….shall we say, theologically sound musical in the world…*cough* But I guess it's whatever you make it, and ghosts don't have to be actual spirits…your life can come back to haunt you, and this story is about letting go and moving on….so I just look at symbolism and try to ignore my ghostly tendencies. *oooohhhh* *cough*

When our group was dismissed (after a good amount of time "ahhh"ing up and down the scale pretending to be a wutherin' moor), Abbey and I hung around and sat on the wooden step pieces with Carrie for a while, just to listen to some remaining cast members (namely Archie, Craven, and Dickon) run over a few solo/duet pieces. Our cast is wonderfully talented, and just sitting back and listening to them sing…*sigh* It's the real deal, peoples - these guys are awesome. "Stoop, and feel it/Stop and hear it…"

Just one of those evenings where I say to myself, "Liza, this is why you're still doing theatre." 

And if you just so happen to be free…come see us :) The shows are
March 7, 8, 9, 13, 14,  and 15

I'm only in the final three (due to my little African expedition - eek!), but you're welcome to show up at any of them, even though I'd love to see you… :)

"Come to my garden/Rest there in my arms/There I'll see you safely grown/And on your way…Lift me up and lead me to the garden/Where life begins anew/There I'll find you and I'll find you love me too…." - Come to My Garden/Lift Me Up, Lily and Colin


  1. My sentiments about the music exactly.
    Initial reaction: "WEIRD. What in the world have I gotten myself into?"
    Now: "They're ALL my favorite! Sooo pretty!" *sigh*

    This post made me so happy!! I had such a wonderful time staying afterwards to listen to our incredibly talented cast members with you. Can't wait until Thursday!

    ~ a fellow member of the Adult Deceased Ensemble

  2. I love The Secret Garden, but I've never even heard of the musical. Hurray! And I LOVE counterpoint. One day maybe I'll get to sing it. One day....
    ~ The Ordinary Princess