"It's just amazing, it's like a dream come true." These are the words of a young girl who has lived every young girl's fantasy: She went to New York and starred in a show. She is local Stephanie Styles, the eloquent, green-eyed 14-year-old who plays Mary Lennox this month in Main Street Theater's The Secret Garden. Houstonians may recognize her from local productions past (she has played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods and Oliver in Oliver!). But it would seem the rest of the country is trying to steal her away. In 2003, she toured America as Louisa von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and she recently starred in the New York City Opera's The Little Prince.
Mary Lennox presents a particular challenge: Styles must guide her character from brattiness to enlightenment after she's shipped from India to England to live with her tortured uncle and his invalid son. But Styles's most daunting task is simply taking a break. "I kind of want to settle down and stay in Houston for a while," she says. "High school is my biggest concrete thing right now." Still, Styles, who loves Disney's princess tales, can't help but indulge in a fantasy of her own: "My dream is to be on Broadway," she says. "I've always wanted to be Christine in Phantom."
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The New York Times said she "exhibited Broadway precociousness" in her Little Prince role; it's a safe bet Styles won't need a Disney-like miracle to make it there -- or anywhere. Show opens at 7:30 p.m.
Thu., June 8, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays; Fridays, 8 p.m. Starts: June 8. Continues through July 2