4th Street Theater cultivates inspirational ‘Garden’

2012-09-27T00:00:00Z 2012-09-27T17:23:54Z 4th Street Theater cultivates inspirational ‘Garden’By Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent
September 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Glenn Hering, director of Chesterton’s 4th Street Theater production of “The Secret Garden,” expects many audience members to leave with a profound life lesson.

“Don’t let the past weigh you down,” he said. “Deal with any disappointments, but look toward the future and look for ways to make the future bright and happy instead of letting the past weigh you down and keep you sad and grieving.”

Opening Oct. 4 and running through Oct. 21, “Garden” tells the tale of ten-year-old Mary Lennox, who, after an outbreak of cholera in India kills her parents, is forced to live with an uncle in England, who is mourning the death of his wife, and his ill son.

On her uncle’s estate, Lennox discovers and unearths a magical garden and becomes a catalyst for many positive changes for her new family unit.

Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “Garden” was adapted as a musical by Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman. Featuring songs such as “How Could I Ever Know,” “Show Me The Key” and “Race You To The Top of the Morning,” Simon and Norman’s “Garden” made its Broadway debut in 1991, where it won a trio of Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical.

Hering is a longtime fan of “Garden” and jumped at the opportunity to bring the musical to the stage.“I think it has some of the most beautiful music ever written for musical theater. The style of the music is almost operatic in places. It’s very accessible. It’s very beautiful. It requires a strong singing cast, which we have, and I’m just so glad to have a chance to direct it.”

Herring is directing more than two dozen area thesps and singers in his production of “Garden.”

“I think probably a lot of the good singers in Northwest Indiana who can handle these parts and do them well jumped at the chance to be in this show,” Hering said. “I have such wonderful singers all through the cast that makes it a joy to direct and put on. They’re going to do the music justice.”

“Garden” is the final production of 4th Street Theater’s 2012 season.

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