The musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Victorian novel has been eyeing a revival for some time; producers Gerald Goehring and Michael F. Mitri of Patriot Productions revealed to Playbill that they had picked up a Broadway option in January 2017. The two had acquired the rights as a production helmed by David Armstrong premiered at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre and subsequently played Houston's Theatre Under the Stars and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. That iteration featured a series of book revisions from Norman.
Before Armstrong's production, two recent high-profile concerts took place in New York over two months: the first a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit with original cast member Rebecca Luker, Gabriella Pizzolo, and Max von Essen, and the second through Manhattan Concert Productions (featuring Sydney Lucas, original Tony-winning star Daisy Eagan, Ben Platt, and Sierra Boggess).
Featuring a Tony-winning book and lyrics by Norman and a score by Simon, The Secret Garden made its world premiere in 1989 with Virginia Stage Company before premiering on Broadway in 1991, where it ran for over 700 performances. The cast included Luker, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Westenberg, John Cameron Mitchell, Alison Fraser, and Eagan, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Mary Lennox at the age of 11.