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Review: Little Women astonishes in debut

Thursday%27s+debut+performance+of+%22Little+Women%2C+the+Musical%22+was+a+mesmerizing+show+to+reviewer+Kennedy+Williams.+The+show%27s+run+continues+Friday+and+Saturday+at+7+p.m.+with+a+Sunday+performance+at+1+p.m.
Thursday's debut performance of

Thursday's debut performance of "Little Women, the Musical" was a mesmerizing show to reviewer Kennedy Williams. The show's run continues Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Sunday performance at 1 p.m.

Perry Mellone

Perry Mellone

Thursday's debut performance of "Little Women, the Musical" was a mesmerizing show to reviewer Kennedy Williams. The show's run continues Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Sunday performance at 1 p.m.

Kennedy Williams, WTV Staff Reporter

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The theater program has proven themselves to be nothing short of astonishing as they premiered their production of Little Women, the Musical based on the novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott.

The story follows a family of four sisters and their mother, living in New England and trying to sustain themselves in the best way possible while their father is away as a chaplain in the Civil War. Being in an all-female household, the four March sisters (Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy) must each navigate their way through life whilst facing a range of conflicting circumstances. From pursuing a career as a writer, to making frugal sacrifices for love’s sake, to simply maturing from one’s childlike tendencies, the March sisters find that the one thing that they can always rely on is the sense of endearment ingrained in their family.

What will likely captivate audience members the most is not necessarily the progression of the plot, but the charming performances of all of the actors. Do not be deceived by the musical’s time period; the average audience member with siblings will recognize several of the comical interactions that were made in the March household. As each of the sisters matured, audience members will feel as if they are growing up right alongside them.

I could not resist developing a personal connection to Grace Raber’s portrayal of Jo. It’s as if her acting of Jo compares to a slightly less brash Elizabeth Taylor from The Taming of the Shrew. Most audience members will be able to align themselves with the challenges that she faces– her dissonance that clashes with the surrounding status quo, the plethora of emotions that accompany her as she attempts to pursue her passion, and ultimately the unequivocal passion that she has for her family. Raber’s performance ignites a spark that heartily reminds one of their inner rebel.

The remaining three sisters provide admirable performances as well. Lauren Head as Meg is the role model that you wish you had. Her elegant and joyful demeanor radiates the stage, even when the context of the plot does not circulate around her. A musically-talented Beth, played by Jordan Miller, serves as a constant beam of kindness, and often works with Meg to keep the sisterhood in line. Brooke Bledsoe plays Amy, the hot head and the fortune hunter of the family, and although being the youngest, the audience has no problem listening to everything she has to say. And Katie Mark as “Marmee”, the girls’ mother, ties the family together, as her comforting, reliable, and tenacious demeanor has a peculiar way of making life appear undeniably enjoyable.

It is impossible however to admire only the performances of the females in the production. Kameron Askew plays Laurie, the cheeky boy next door with such a big heart. His performance will be sure to put a smile on your face. Likewise, Professor Bhaer (James Fagan),  and Mr. Laurence (Macualy Lyell) may look to be intimidating at first glance, but the audience will imminently find a way to hope for their success given the plot.

The sets throughout were so elaborate, and I found that some of the most mesmerizing points of the production were the scene changes. Additionally, orchestra director Julie Blackstock led an exuberant musical performance by the orchestra pit.

Watching this production my heart grew fonder of the power that lies in sibling relationships. Although I would probably not recommend this musical to those in search of something uncomfortable or frightening, an audience member of nearly any age will enjoy this lovely performance.

The above story was corrected to properly reflect who played the role of Marmee.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Review: Little Women astonishes in debut”

  1. John Lanehow on December 2nd, 2017 5:24 pm

    The actress portraying Marmee is Katie Mark, not Katie Gray.

    [Reply]

  2. Kathy Mayhew on December 2nd, 2017 11:02 pm

    Katie Mark plays Marmee.

    [Reply]

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Review: Little Women astonishes in debut