All tagged Lucy Simon

The Not-So-Secret Hatchet Job on The Secret Garden

I am writing this piece to, once and for all, put to rest any notion that the Lucy Simon/Marsha Norman musical The Secret Garden needs to be fixed. If a Broadway revival of this complex and emotionally textured musical, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel, is to happen, then it needs to come to Broadway in tact! Rumors have begun to filter in to me that the eagerly anticipated production playing at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. and co-produced with the 5th Avenue Theatre is taking some mighty big liberties with this beloved musical. Apparently, director David Armstrong had such limited faith in the piece that he felt it needed to be re-written and many of its glorious songs excised. For shame.

Theatres We Love: Remembering My Times Visiting the St. James

Most people who attend Broadway plays and musicals on a regular basis have established a certain affection for a particular venue. Maybe we had a wonderful experience at a particular theatre, or maybe we have had several. Perhaps a certain theatre is more comfortable, more conveniently located, or maybe it just glows with the wonderful ghosts of shows gone by? For me, my favorite theatre will always be the St. James, owned and operated by Jujamycn Theatre and the home of a long line of Broadway hits that have been ensconced within its walls on 44th street, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Remembering The Secret Garden

Lucy Simon is an eclectic composer who adeptly infuses her music with the sounds and folk styles of other cultures. With her new musical Doctor Zhivago opening on Broadway last night. I began feeling affectionate about and nostalgic for her first foray into writing for the Broadway stage: The Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is richly textured musically and features expert allusions to the music of India and rural England. In fact, the musical went so far as to employ instruments outside of the norm for a Broadway pit, including a hammered dulcimer. 

The "Source" of Our Concerns: Top-Ten Musicals that Illuminated Their Source Material

Every season, we are inundated with a long list of musicals that are in development and that are based on famous source material. We speculate about their potential and wonder if they will work, often resigning ourselves to the fact that they will never live up to the movie, play or book that we adore. Sometimes, we are surprised when we enter the theatre and find that the music and lyrics, along with a fresh viewpoint, concept and/or casting choice can illuminate the piece in ways we hadn't imagined. This article is a valentine to the musicals that DID work and either captured their source material beautifully, or improved up them. I am limiting my list to pieces that I personally saw AFTER I had read the play, book or watched the movie from which they derived.