THE SECRET GARDEN Opens Tonight at 8pm for Pay-What-You-Can

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on November 13, 2015

When John Davis passed, we lost a unique character, a devoted theatre goer and a goodhearted civic activist.

When the pennies from The Lillian’s opening, first day tokens, were stolen off the wall of the Roxy, John replaced them and lifted my spirits which had sunk due to the thoughtless thievery.

John Davis also opened his home to visiting actors. His home was more an old curiosity shop than a museum, for he was an avid collector of many things, memories and friends. He played many and various roles in life, and none was more important than being a friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

I did get my third busman’s holiday, Black Comedy at Clarksville High School. I’m dating myself when I say I saw the original production with Lynn Redgrave and Michael Crawford, pre-Phantom days.

The young CHS thespians handled the physical comedy with an expertise unusual in performers so young. I have to say, though, the standout was our own Addisyn Bryant, whose physical humor along with clarity of speech made for a exceptional performance. Kudos to all!

Standing ovations abounded for Jonathan Whitney’s portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego Mr. Hyde. I’m saddened that, for such a powerful and gripping novella which is required reading for the ninth grade, so many ninth grade students missed out. To watch a final performance and know what you are seeing no one will ever see again is an otherworldly, wonderful and deeply sad feeling, albeit a somewhat selfish one.

Tonight (Friday) at 8:00pm, we open The Secret Garden, a musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s novel performed and sung to perfection by Virginia Richardson as Mary Lennox, Ryan Bowie as Archibald Craven, Tanner Sigears as Colin, and James Hansen as Dickon, along with Kelley Barker, Leslie Greene, Sean Michael Jaenicke, John McDonald, Lindsay Nantz, Val Roche, Matthew Smolko, Jonathan Whitney and, on piano, Tom Thayer.

The production is placed within a replica of Pollock’s Toy Theatre, all pale pinks and grand greens of which Victoria and Albert were so fond. Frances Hodgson Burnett bought toys at Pollock’s shop for her literary children Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, Little Lord Fauntleroy and the Little Princess.

All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 7:30pm this evening for a $5 minimum donation. The Secret Garden continues on November 14, 20, 21 and 27 at 8:00pm; November 19, 25 and 26 at 7:00pm; and November 21 at 2:00pm, with a special Thanksgiving performance including your choice of apple, pumpkin or pecan pie served at intermission by properly attired English maids.

Buyer & Cellar plays its two final performances in theotherspace on Monday, November 16, and Tuesday, November 17, at 7:00pm. Don’t miss Ryan Bowie in this hilarious one-man show (recommended for mature audiences only) about a man’s surreal employment as the shopkeeper of Barbra Streisand’s own mall … which just happens to be in her basement.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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