Weary of winter, Washingtonians? NextStop Theatre Company has your antidote.
Instead of a resurrection-vague Jesus Christ Superstar timed to Easter, this praiseworthy playhouse subbed in Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s lush, soul-searching The Secret Garden, an operatic and dark but uplifting musical of reawakening.
Based on an Edwardian-era children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it follows orphaned Mary who, having escaped the cholera scourge, is transplanted from British India to the unforgiving Yorkshire Moors, where she must now share the haunted manor of her brooding, hunchback uncle whom she’d never met. There, with the help of some spritely servants, a neglected but beckoning garden and her resilient spirit, she mines the mysteries of love and loss.
Although the show falls heavy on the shoulders of some dreamy young actors — a pair of them take turns in key roles — this rhapsodic production is far from children’s fare.