The Secret Garden: A tour de force


“Secret Garden” will be performed through the weekend of Oct. 28. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Polton-Simon ’19)

Lafayette’s newest show, “The Secret Garden,” is a whimsical and powerful performance.

It’s the story of a British girl living in India whose parents are killed in a cholera epidemic and is forced to go live with her uncle on the English country side.

Without spoiling it for the reader, the musical began in a quite confusing manner, because the show jumps around between characters serving as “spirits” and real-world characters. After the first few scenes, though, the viewer begins to understand what is going on and the show kicks into high gear, becoming a storytelling work of art.

One of the best parts of “The Secret Garden” is its immensely deep and powerful storytelling. The characters are complicated and thought-out, which keeps one on his or her seat throughout the performance. Even the secondary characters are complex in their motives and thoughts– Gavin Knox’s ’17 Neville as an example.

"Secret Garden" will be performed through the weekend of Oct. 28. (Mary Jo Lodge)
“Secret Garden” will be performed through the weekend of Oct. 28. (Mary Jo Lodge)

The musical is a somber but character-driven story and at the emotional center of this is Archibald (Luis Aviles ’17) and Mary (played by both Sofia Pite Eckman and Gabrielle Vecciarelli). These two characters bring the emotional gravitas when interacting with their deceased relatives and loved ones (Meryl Hahne ’17 and Hannah Weaver ’17). Counter balancing the somber tone of the play are the stand out performances of Martha (Mary Kate Arcuri ’19) and Dickon (Matt Ackerman ’18). These two provide optimistic and fun outlooks throughout the play.

Overall, “The Secret Garden” is a strong and deep story with haunting musical numbers (and a few really fun ones) as well as some fantastic production design. Definitely a show you will not want to miss.

Written by Allie Rosen ’19