‘Little Women’ makes big impact on Lee Street stage
By Claire Raimist
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, Little Women: The Musical focuses on the four March sisters— traditional Meg, wild, aspiring writer Jo, timid Beth and romantic Amy,— and their beloved Marmee, at home in Concord, Massachusetts while their father is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War.
Written by Allan Knee with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland, Little Women: The Musical opened on Broadway in 2005. The original cast received multiple nominations for awards, including the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster) and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestration (Kim Scharnberg).
The novel “Little Women” was largely based off of Alcott’s own life. The four March girls were strikingly similar to herself and her sisters, although in real life it was Alcott, not her father, who went off to war–she enlisted as a nurse. Alcott originally wasn’t thrilled about writing “Little Women,” and wrote in a journal, “Marmee, Anna, and May all approve [of] my plan. So I plod away, though I don’t enjoy this sort of thing. Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters…” Her own personality shone through Jo March, a strong female writer and the protagonist of the story. In another journal entry, she mentioned, “I’d rather be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe…girls write to ask who the little women will marry, as if that was the only end and aim of a woman’s life.”
Little Women: The Musical is produced in collaboration with the Catawba College Theatre Arts Department as a part of the CataLST Internship Program. The cast includes 5 interns, Taylor Kroop and Emily Danielle Owens double cast as Jo, Emily Danielle Owens and Claire Raimist double cast as Meg, Savannah Shaver as Beth, and Shannon Harris as Amy. Community members round out the cast, including Caroline Stephenson as Marmee, Wendy Weant as Aunt March and Ms. Kirk, Tim Campbell as Professor Bhaer, Tim Bishop as John Brooke, Nick Culp as Laurie, and Marty Walker as Mr. Laurence. It is directed by Craig Kolkebeck with Music Direction by John Stafford.
Performances will be held at Lee Street theatre Performing Arts Center at the Tom & Martha Smith Event Center at 329 N Lee Street, Salisbury, NC 28144. Performances will run November 1-3 & 8-10 at 7:30pm. General tickets are $22.90 and Student Tickets are $10. Tickets are available online at www.leestreet.org or by phone 704.310.5507.