Robert Westenberg Returns to the ‘Prophetic’ Secret Garden Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
We talked to the Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George favorite about helming a production of the musical during an unprecedented health crisis.
Robert Westenberg is enjoying a homecoming of sorts, directing a new production of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s 1991 musical The Secret Garden at Missouri State University. Westenberg created the role of Dr. Neville Craven in the original Broadway production, singing the emotional duet “Lily’s Eyes” opposite Mandy Patinkin eight shows a week at the St. James Theatre.
Following a Broadway acting career that also included originating roles in Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George, Westenberg turned to directing and teaching; he is currently a professor and coordinator of musical theatre at MSU.
Chatting via phone about his return to TheSecret Garden, Westenberg seemed struck with how timely the musical remains. “[The show] is unbelievably prophetic in terms of what is happening today.”