“The Secret Garden,” the Hinman Production Company’s spring musical, will entertain Binghamton University this weekend with performances at 8 p.m. on April 19-21 in the Hinman Commons with an additional matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Inspired by book and lyrics of Marsha Norman, the musical, directed by Lucas Yerpe and Bridget Egan, is sure to please.
“I know it is going to be amazing,” said Egan, an undeclared junior. “The cast has been wonderful in rehearsals and if they can bring that to opening night, I know the show will be unbelievable.”
“The Secret Garden” follows a young girl, Mary Lennox, as she copes with the tragedy of her parents’ deaths from cholera in a new home with her uncle, Archibald. Archibald is a lost soul who is also coping with loss, of his beloved wife and of his son’s health. Separately the two attempt to move forward as memories and dreams haunt them. She meets an array of people during her stay and discovers a secret garden that unravels the past and determines the future.
Egan is used to the clichéd idea of what a musical should be with big show-stopping songs and huge dance numbers. In the past she has done mostly dancing and choreography.
“’The Secret Garden is a completely different kind of show and I think that makes it even more powerful for me,” Egan said. “It has challenged me and pushed me toward another type of theater than I am used to and it has been such a rewarding experience.”
Dominique Cuoco, an undeclared sophomore, plays the outspoken character Mary Lennox. When the HPC voted on its musical for this semester, “The Secret Garden” was Cuoco’s top choice.
“I saw the show at a theater camp when I was younger and Mary Lennox was a dream role of mine, probably because I was labeled as a ‘flower child’ when I was the character’s age,” Cuoco said.
Yerpe, a first-year graduate student studying mathematics, is no stranger to HPC. He has acted and directed a number of productions for the student theater group, but says his involvement in “The Secret Garden” is unique.
“It’s been a year since I directed last, and I’ve learned a great deal about planning, leading, coaching and refining in the meantime while pursuing other ventures,” Yerpe said. “This is also, musically, a very different show from those we’ve done recently — much more soft, sweet, ethereal music, working to capture you instead of making you tap your feet.”
According to Cuoco, people should go to see the show because of the dynamic and incredible cast.
“Everyone brings wonderful energy and feeling to their characters,” Cuoco said. “The score is beautiful as well. Also, if you’re into ghosts, half the cast is dead.”
According to Yerpe, “The Secret Garden” will show you that how no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless, empty and deserted you may feel, there is always a way out and there are people willing to lead you there.
“It sets the saddest of premises, and follows with the most uplifting of stories,” Yerpe said. “If that isn’t enough, people should come to hear the wonderful compositions of Lucy Simon. The music in this show is absolutely gorgeous, and is the main reason I wanted HPC to do it.”
Tickets are $5 and will be sold at the door along with refreshments and baked goods.