Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018
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Secret Garden, Oliver! to be presented by local groups

Shows about two of literature s most famous orphans opens this weekend on local stages as Orphan Productions presents The Secret Garden and ToDAY Productions offers Oliver!

The Secret Garden is a favorite of ours, said Jennifer Boney Reynolds, secretary/treasurer for the troupe.

Based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden revolves around Mary Lennox, 10, the child of a British officer and his wife in colonial India.

Neglected by her busy parents and spoiled by her nursemaids, Mary s life takes a turn for the worse when she is orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1906, then sent to live with her widowed uncle, in the wilds of Yorkshire.

Feeling unwelcome and lonely, Mary slowly lets go of her pretensions and makes friends with a young maid and her brother, Martha and Dickon. As the youngsters work and play together, the garden works its magic on all of them.

Co-directed by Kate Hoover and Matt Zwyer, the Orphans cast comprises youngsters ages 8-20 from Toledo and the suburbs.

Heading the cast are Hayley Reynolds (Notre Dame Academy) as Mary Lennox, Tyler Zaborowski (St. John s Jesuit High School) as Dickon, Joseph Schuster (Lial School in Whitehouse) as Colin Craven , Hannah Dickerson (Sylvania Northview High School) as Martha, and Jarrod Goad (Bowling Green State University) as Archibald Craven.

Also in the cast are Kevin Dmytryka, Jamie Luster, and Jessica Vogel of Toledo; Katie Momenee of Bowling Green; Lauren Klocinski of Holland; Julia Balzer, Lindsay Brown, Chris Kessler, Julia Schuster, and Kevin Thiel of Perrysburg; Jessica Schuster of Swanton; Anne Glaza of Waterville; Kyle Zwyer and Amanda Reisner of Whitehouse.

Orphan Productions presents The Secret Garden at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Millennium Theatre of Maumee Valley Country Day School, 1715 South Reynolds Rd. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students, available in the lobby one hour prior to curtain.

The musical Oliver! by Lionel Bart opens tomorrow at the Collingwood Arts Center.

Based on Oliver Twist, the novel by Charles Dickens about an orphan in Victorian London who falls in with a gang of pickpockets, the Tony and Oscar Award-winning musical is being presented by ToDAY Productions.

The troupe, whose home base is the arts center, bills itself as a nondenominational, ecumenical group that ministers to high school-age students through musical theater, according to Brian Felster, CAC program director.

The cast ranges in age from 6 to 60 and is being directed by Sarah Braun and Sara Speelman.

Oliver! is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, and Aug. 1 and 2, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Collingwood Art Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors, and children by calling 800-838-3006 or online at At the door, tickets will be $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students, and children.

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