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Litte Women: The Musical is sure to please at the Roxy Regional Theatre
Posted By Bill Larson On Monday, November 17, 2014 @ 12:00 pm In Arts and Leisure | No Comments
Clarksville, TN – The Roxy regional Theatre is currently staging the production of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little women. These books have been a childhood favorite for generations of little girls. As the Roxy regional Theatre’s first release for the show states Louisa May Alcott’s acclaimed story of love and family stands the test of time.
The Musical brings together the best from the books along with the talented cast of actresses and actors put together by the Roxy. The cast is outstanding the cast is simply outstanding!
Each of the young women were pulled straight from the pages of Alcott’s books. Attendees won’t be able to help being drawn in by the characters. The Jo played by Allie McCaw, a strong and adventurous young woman who is also an aspiring writer. Meg played by Elena Pascullo is the sister seeking to find domestic bless. Beth played by Laura Donnelly is the peacemaker of the bunch reminding the disparate sisters to love one another. Amy played by Corinne Bupp is the youngest sister and has more than a hint of a mischievous streak in her.
The production also features Kim Kinsley as Marmee, Michael Spaziani as Laurie Laurence, Chase Miller as John Brooke, Leslie Greene as Aunt March, John McDonald as Mr. Laurence, and Tyler Baxter as Professor Bhaer.
Besides the four young ladies playing the leads, my favorites characters were Mr Laurence (John McDonald) and his grandsoon Laurie Laurence (Michael Spaziani). John McDonald brings an incredible amount of life to any role he plays. Spaziani’s portrayal of Mr. Laurence’s grandson was spot on perfect!
The songs vary in power and intensity, but serve to keep the the story and plot moving along nicely. They are brought to life by the beautiful voices of actors.
Little Women: The Musical, like Alcott’s books will of course have the most appeal with young girls and women who wish to remember a childhood favorite. With that being said; anyone who sees the show will not be able to help but to be entertained by this incredibly talented cast.
The show runs through November 29th, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm. A special Thanksgiving performance of “Little Women” is being presented on Thursday, November 27th, at 7:00pm, including complimentary pumpkin, apple and pecan pie with the cast at intermission.
The production is made possible in part through the generous support of Jim & Jan Brannen, Dr. Joseph & Nancye Britton, Dr. Ernest & Joan DeWald, James & Christa Holleman, Barry Kitterman & Jill Eichhorn, Jim & Dottie Mann, Dr. Gary & Janet Mund, and Starlene Sykes.
The Roxy Regional Theatre is located at 100 Franklin Street in Clarksville, TN.
The music and lyrics are by Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein. The show is directed by Tom Thayer.
Josephine (Jo) March is living in Mrs. Kirk’s boarding house in New York City, while trying to sell her stories to publications. Professor Bhaer, another tenant in the boarding house, informs Jo that a letter arrived for her. Jo reads it and finds herself disappointed. It is another rejection from a publisher. Jo asks Professor Bhaer if she can read him one of her stories, for his opinion. He agrees and she begins.
(“An Operatic Tragedy”) The story begins with a thunder storm and the story’s heroine, Clarissa, is running across the coastal heath, trying to escape the clutches of the evil Braxton Prendergast. Just when it seems Clarissa cannot escape Braxton’s clutches, the handsome and bold Rodrigo appears. He comes to kill to Rodrigo and…
…suddenly Professor Bhaer interrupts Jo and wonders what it is she is writing. “Blood and guts stuff,” she replies. Professor Bhaer tells her that she is a unique woman–vivacious and outspoken–but her stories seem to conform to what she thinks the public wants to hear. He says she can do better and walks away. Jo can’t comprehend this, saying that her stories were a great success back home in Concord, Massachusetts (“Better”).
We are then back at the March household, two years earlier. We meet Jo’s sisters Meg, Beth, and Amy. Jo tells them she has written a piece to perform for Christmas, and tries to convince them of its impending success. The sisters are won over and they begin to rehearse (“Our Finest Dreams”). Jo exclaims she is bursting with energy and asks for tasks to do. Beth asks for their father to be home from the war, Meg wants to be invited to the Valentine’s Day ball, and Amy wants a Christmas tree. Jo obliges and runs out the door to chop one down across the street at Mr. Laurence’s house.
As Marmee agrees to this action, Mr. Laurence walks in demanding Jo repay him. When Jo agrees, Mr. Laurence walks out leaving his grandson, Laurie. Laurie awkwardly introduces himself to Jo and confides that he thought what she did was brave. Jo asks Laurie to give the fir tree to the Hummel family. Laurie happily agrees.
Following the introduction, a letter arrives from Mr. March. The girls all gather around Marmee as she reads the letter aloud. Mr. March says that the war continues, but assures that he is well and that he sends his love to the girls. The girls, relieved, disperse to their rooms, leaving Marmee alone. Marmee sings to her absent husband about the difficulties of raising their daughters by herself (“Here Alone”).
A few days later, Jo goes to her Aunt March’s house. Aunt March wishes to have Jo take her place in society, much to Jo’s disdain. Aunt March then tempts Jo with the offer of going to Europe with her, but only if she promises to change her ways and become more like a proper lady (“Could You”).
A month later, Jo and Meg are preparing to go to the Valentine’s Day Ball. Jo feels uncomfortable in her dress, but Meg is absolutely terrified of going to her first ball. Marmee calms her down and takes her through all of the steps of being at a ball (“Delighted”).
Amy walks in, wearing a gown that is too big on her, ready to go to the ball. Marmee tells Amy she wasn’t invited and so she can’t go to the ball. Amy asks to take Jo’s invitation, since she cares about society and Jo doesn’t. Jo and Amy then get into a fight, with Amy mocking Jo’s stories and Jo stealing Amy’s fan to bring with her to the ball. At that moment, Jo and Meg leave and say good night. Amy, bitter and angry, takes Jo’s portfolio of stories and throws it into the fire.
At the ball, Jo accidentally spills punch on another guest and decides to step out for a moment with Meg, whereupon they meet Laurie again, who has been sleeping on a chaise. Mr. Brooke, Laurie’s tutor, comes in telling Laurie that his grandfather wants him to meet more important people. Before he can take Laurie away, though, Mr. Brooke meets Meg and is smitten. He asks her to dance and they walk away, leaving Jo and Laurie alone.
Laurie is absolutely smitten with Jo. Wanting to be around her more often, he offers his companionship (“Take a Chance on Me”). Jo finds Laurie’s enthusiasm entertaining and decides to accept him as her new friend, challenging him to a race across the pond the next day. Laurie accepts and they, along with Meg and Mr. Brooke, go back to the March house.
To Marmee’s surprise, Meg comes with a sprained ankle in the arms of Mr. Brooke. After he and Laurie leave, Meg, transfixed, announces that she went to the ball a girl, but came home a woman. As she goes off to bed, Amy and Jo make up and Jo goes off to finish one of her manuscripts, only to discover that it’s gone. She runs after Amy, who proudly announces that she burnt the story. Marmee scolds Amy that she did an intolerable thing, and demands that Jo and Amy live together with respect. Amy runs off as Jo sits on the stairs, dejected (“Better – Reprise”). Just then, Jo is struck by another idea for a story.
A few days later, Laurie convinces Jo to come skate with him, declaring that he will win one of their races before the winter is over. Jo accepts and races Laurie out the door. Beth, at the piano, convinces Amy to go to the pond and skate with Laurie and Jo as a treaty with Jo, giving Amy her ice skates.
Just then, Mr. Laurence comes in. Laurie told him Beth wants to play his wife’s piano, which he had locked up after she passed away. Nonetheless, Beth amuses him and they play a ditty on her piano (“Off to Massachusetts”). Mr. Laurence tells Beth if she comes to his house tomorrow, he will unlock the piano and she can play it before exiting.
Jo and Laurie come bursting through the door.Amy fell through the ice while trying to skate with Jo and Laurie. Amy and Jo finally forgive each other and Laurie, who saved Amy from the ice, is made an honorary March brother (“Five Forever”).
That spring, Marmee heads off to Washington to take care of Mr. March, who has fallen ill with pneumonia. Amy is being sent to Aunt March’s house while Marmee is gone, and Jo has been asked to go to Aunt March’s to ask for money so that Marmee can get to Washington. Jo returns with the money, but not from Aunt March. She says that she could not and so, reveals that she sold her hair to get the money. Marmee takes the money and heads for the train station. Aunt March comes to pick up Amy, furious that Jo has cut and sold her hair. Claiming that Jo has not lived up to her end of the bargain, Aunt March cancels Europe for Jo. Furious, Jo runs upstairs and Amy collects the rest of her things.
Mr. Brooke arrives for Meg, telling her that he has enlisted in the army. He asks Meg when he returns from the war, if she’ll marry him. Meg happily accepts (“More Than I Am”). Jo returns, but is upset with Meg’s engagement, stating that Meg has turned her back on their agreement to never leave each other. Upset, she flees to the attic where Laurie meets her.
Laurie tells Jo that his grandfather is making him go to college next year, since the war is over. Jo finds the news to be wonderful, but Laurie is unhappy. He doesn’t want to go because he will miss her too much. Laurie kisses Jo and asks her to marry him. Jo (confused by the sudden change in their friendship) rejects Laurie’s proposal, saying she will never marry. She asks Laurie to leave, which he does. Upset that everything is changing in her life, Jo decides that she can no longer stay in Concord and must fulfill her dream to be a great writer (“Astonishing”).
Once Jo has recounted how she sold her story, Mrs. Kirk gives Jo the telegram. Jo reads that Beth has become very ill. Devastated, she insists on going to her.
Back in Concord, Mr. Laurence and Mr. Brooke (who is now married to Meg) decide to surprise Beth by giving her Mr. Laurence’s piano. Beth is delighted and plays with Mr. Laurence once more (“Off to Massachusetts – Reprise”). Mr. Broke announces that he received a letter from Laurie when he was in New York. Jo, who has returned from New York just a few days earlier, is surprised that Laurie was in New York and did not contact her. The mention of the letter, however, only makes Jo miss New York, rather than Laurie.
Jo writes Professor Bhaer an update on her family–such as Meg’s pregnancy. She ends her letter asking how he is. Subsequently, Professor Bhaer confesses that his life has gone on as usual, but it has been quiet since she has left (“How I Am”).
That September, Jo and Marmee take Beth to the beach. Jo brings along a kite for her and Beth to fly. Marmee leaves the two alone and Beth asks Jo to entertain her with more descriptions about New York. As the mood becomes more somber, Jo confesses that Beth is her special someone in the world. Beth tells Jo that she knows she will die, and is not afraid. She is only afraid of leaving her sisters behind. She tells Jo to let her go and die peacefully (“Some Things Are Meant to Be”).
The following winter, Beth passes. Amy returns from Europe with Aunt March as a full-grown woman. Everyone is excited to see Amy and surprised find that Laurie is with her. Amy explains that they unexpectedly saw each other Europe, and surprisingly fell in love and are now engaged (“The Most Amazing Thing”). Jo is surprised, but very happy and supportive of the two, officially welcoming Laurie into the family.
Jo then goes up to the attic, where Marmee follows her. Jo confesses that she cannot write anymore since Beth died. Jo now regrets going to New York and not being there for the family and asks Marmee how she can be strong and wise like her. Marmee tells Jo that she has to believe there is a reason for hope (“Days of Plenty”). Alone in the attic, Jo wonders how she can move on, until she is inspired by Beth’s memory to write a story about their family (“The Fire Within Me”).
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