Stage Right's production of 'Secret Garden' is heart-tugging show
Archibald Craven, the lord of Misselthwaite Manor, Yorkshire, England, in Stage Right's production of “The Secret Garden,” isn't the carefree, well-to-do aristocrat like his counterpart, the Earl of Grantham in television's “Downton Abbey.”
Craven, portrayed by Tony Marino — who also directs the musical with assistant director and choreographer Renata Marino — is suffering from family issues that have made him saddened and distraught. His beloved wife died a decade ago during childbirth, and his son, Colin, is confined to his bed, unable to walk from an unknown condition.
When his 10-year-old niece, Mary Lennox, comes to live with Craven after she loses her parents to a cholera epidemic in India, his grief eventually is lifted through a discovery made by the young girl outside his home — a beautiful secret garden that once belonged to his wife.
Tony Marino says he always wanted to play the Archie Craven role, ever since he portrayed the character's brother in his first show with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
“At the time, I remember thinking I can't wait until I can do this. It's a beautiful character that any actor would love to play. Having arrived at the right time in my life as an actor, I am really excited to take on this challenging role.”
In the Stage Right production, the role of Mary is triple-cast with each of the three girls, Grace Rusnica of Irwin and Julia Boyle and Carolyn Jerz of Greensburg, acting in one performance this weekend.
Carolyn Jerz, a home-schooled 11-year-old student, shares stage time in “The Secret Garden” with her father, Dennis Jerz, who portrays Ben Weatherstaff, the head gardener. It's not the first time she has been in productions with her dad. She also has acted with two other members of her family, her mother, Leigh, and older brother Peter.
Carolyn says she has seen one of the movie versions of “The Secret Garden” and always thought it would be cool to play Mary.
“When she comes to the strange house and finds the garden, she uses it as her sanctuary when she needs to be by herself,” Carolyn says. One of her favorite songs that her character sings in the musical is the pretty tune, “The Girl I Mean to Be.”
“The story really tugs at your heart,” Renata Marino says. “This little girl is all alone in the world and living in a new and strange place, but she finds a way to move on and feel better and grow. The metaphor of the garden coming back to life and how she is the cause of that, as well as how other characters she touches are healed and grow and are reborn, is really powerful and moving.”
Also in the cast are Cynthia Baltzer as Lilly, David Mahokey as Dr. Craven, Alex Noble as Albert Lennox, Renata Marino as Rose, Ben Pimental as Dickon and Anna Stewart as Martha.
Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Padres snap Pirates’ 7-game win streak
- Steelers nose tackle McCullers finds performance, fitness go hand in hand
- Ford City ambulance company recognized for quality of heart attack care
- Padres snap Pirates’ 7-game win streak
- Earning merit badges won’t be a walk in the park for Slate Lick Scouts
- McKeesport alternative education students will move as academy closes
- Judge to shine light on whether West Kittanning billboard is a nuisance
- Driver dies, students hurt in school van crash in Indiana County
- Buena Vista pool anticipates its best season
- Point Park graduate’s ‘mugshot’ photos hit nerve on racism
- Trail construction to begin in Versailles