The downtown Waldo Theatre’s summer’s musical production, “The Secret Garden,” has final performances Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15; $12 for senior citizens; and $10 for those younger than 12.

The show is directed by Sue Ghoreyeb with Aaron Robinson and accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Sean Fleming.

Based on the famous novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden” is a musical coming of age story filled with wonderment and surprise. The show was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright Marsha Norman. The libretto is complimented by the intricate and beautiful score written by well-known composer Lucy Simon.

The family-friendly musical is laden with the magic that can come from simple things, like tending a deserted garden until it blooms again. The true miracles of “The Secret Garden” rest in the hands of the common people of the Yorkshire Moors, not in the wealth of Archibald Craven (James Merrifield) or the things that money can buy.

Through the commonness and decency of three people, Mary Lennox (Emma Tolley) and Colin Craven (Andrew Lyndaker) waken from the shadows in which they have lived. Yorkshire lad Dickon (Braden Waddell) has charming ways that work on the sour Mary and sad Colin to bring them into the wonderful world of joyous childhood. Martha (Meredith Batley), Mary’s maidservant, Martha has a charming frankness and levelheaded approach to all aspects of life (Batley has been in “The Secret Garden” before; in 1997, she was one of the dreamers). Ben Weatherstaff (Kit Hayden) is the gruff elderly gardener who stays at Misselthwaite because he was a favorite of the late mistress, Lily Craven. He helps the children keep the secret of the garden.

There are a number of striking similarities between the children and the neglected garden. Both children have both passed sickly, neglected childhoods; the garden has been closed the entirety of their lives. Closed since Colin’s birth, the garden has been neglected for 10 years. Up to the moment that Colin and Mary each enter the garden, they too are closed off. The awakening of the secret garden by the children, with the aid of the Yorkshire servants, parallels Colin and Mary's own rebirth.

“The Secret Garden” is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Tickets may be reserved by calling the Waldo Theatre at 832-6060 and also are available at the Community Pharmacy in Waldoboro and Maine Coast Book Shop and Café in Damariscotta.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or