‘Secret Garden’ to open


    By Michael Walker

    Few are aware that musical theater is alive and well on Center Street in Provo.

    Center Street Musical Theater opened its doors on March 24, 2004, with the production ?Pirates of Penzance.?

    Theater owners and operators Gavin and Sharilyn Grooms said they dreamed of opening a theater for 15 years.

    ?If I could do just one thing for the rest of my life, it would be to open a theater,? said Gavin, back in December of 2003.

    Just three months later, Center Street Musical Theater opened with ?Pirates? and the theater has been successful ever since.

    ?We?ve done very well,? said Gavin, referring to the theater?s success as of July 2005. ?We?re very pleased with the turnout. Our success has exceeded our predictions.?

    The production ?Secret Garden? is currently showing at the theater. A popular musical, the story centers on a little girl named Mary Lennox who loses both parents to a cholera epidemic in India. She is sent to live with her uncle Archibald, a grieving man who is devoid of hope. After her discovery of a nearby secret garden, Mary is able to nurture the garden and bring life back to all those with whom she lives.

    Jill Shumway, a BYU professor, plays Mrs. Medlock in the show.

    ?It?s been a really great community of actors,? Shumway said. ?Usually when you work with actors, there are a lot of egos, and a lot of competition, but this theater is not like that. There is unity and cooperation.?

    Provo?s only other playhouse theater is the Provo Theater Company located just two streets over on 200 North.

    ?There isn?t a lot of community theater in Provo,” Shumway said. “It [the theater] gives a lot of people a chance to be on stage who wouldn?t normally have it. I think Gavin and Sharilyn have done a wonderful job filling the need of the area for true community theater.?

    Tickets at Center Street Musical Theater are $8 for adults, $7 for children, seniors and students with school ID. They can be ordered by calling 764-0535 or by stopping by the theater located at 177 W. Center Street.

    The theater also serves a catered dinner on Mondays and Saturdays before the shows at a cost of $10.

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