The hills are alive with the sweet scents of the Secret Garden, this year’s Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School musical, which begins next Thursday, Feb. 14. The play will be performed at the performing arts center at the regional high school with additional shows on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.. and Saturday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m.
Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lenox, a young British girl living in India. When her parents die of a cholera outbreak, Mary is sent back to Yorkshire, England to live with her widowed uncle. It is there she meets her 10 year old cousin, Collin, who is in wheelchair and rarely sees the light of day.
But when Mary, a sour and sad girl, discovers her dead aunt’s garden, “she brings the garden back to life and in doing so she restores the health and happiness to the manor,” said play director Betsy Hauck.
“It should be a fabulous show,” Ms. Hauck added. “We have such talent on this Island it amazes me.”
The play has a Vineyard connection as well. The music is by Lucy Simon, member of the Simon Sisters folk group and sister of Vineyarders Carly and Peter Simon.
“The music is very complex and almost like an operetta,” Ms. Hauck said.
Like previous musicals, the play will feature adult community members like Peter Boak of Island Community Chorus.
“I’m a big believer in mixing ages,” said Ms. Hauck.
Ms. Hauck said the troupe is very proud of the unique set design, “it’s stuff not done on our stage in my memory.”
“We’re hoping people will be really excited about the special effects that will be happening,” she said.
The details are . . . secret.