A 70-year-old patron of the Arts recently said, “Little Women was my favorite story growing up”. A twenty-year-old college girl said, “that was my favorite story growing up”. A fifteen-year-old young lady said “Oh, I love that story”. “Little Women” will be presented in musical form at the Owen Theatre this Christmas season. What a treat that will be.
This season at the Owen enjoy the music, the excitement and the celebration that is Little Women the Musical. Book by: Allan Knee Lyrics by: Mindi Dickstein Music by: Jason Howland Directed for the Players Theatre Company by veteran actor, set designer, costume designer and director Michael Hayes. Michael was last seen on stage in The Three Musketeers at the Owen. His vision for this show will bring this period piece to life in music, action and dance. Michael’s assistant and choreographer is also a long-time member of the Players Theatre Company, Faye Beth Beckman. You will see her volunteering in many capacities at the Owen. She may help you buy your ticket in the box office. The music Director for this production is Robert Lewis. His credits are vast for the Players. Most recently he lent his expertise to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The story came from the acclaimed book of the same title written by Louisa May Alcott She was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ teacher, Bronson Alcott and raised on the practical Christianity of their mother, Abigail May. Like her character, Jo March in Little Women, young Louisa was a tomboy: “No boy could be my friend till I had beaten him in a race,” she claimed, ” and no girl if she refused to climb trees, leap fences….” For Louisa, writing was an early passion. She had a rich imagination and often her stories became melodramas that she and her sisters would act out for friends. Louisa preferred to play the “outrageous” parts in these plays such as the hags portrayed in the musical.
At age 15, troubled by the poverty that followed her family, she vowed: “I will do something by and by. Don’t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to help the family; and I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!” That fame, honor, and a comfortable fortune finally came to Louisa in her later years. She passed from this earth at the age of 55 just shortly after her father. Her obituary in the New York Times said “There was probably no writer among women better loved by the young than she. Her fame rested chiefly on her first successful story, “Little Women,” and it was that story that endeared her to so many.
When you come to see Little Women produced by the Players Theatre Company, you will find the sweet, wonderful moments of this musical plus the action and spice that is Jo March. This musical provides charming and electrifying performances by the character of Jo played by newcomer Lizzy Camp. Other women who have played Jo March include Dorothy Bernard (1918), Katharine Hepburn (1933), June Allyson (1949) and Winona Ryder (1994). Each one played Jo in a movie version of the story. Each actress had a strong will for the part and showed the many facets of being a woman. Lizzy does the same for the stage version. Other colorful, multi-talented cast members include:
Amy – Emily Van Eaton
Beth – Julia Johnson
Jo – Lizzie Camp
Meg – Kelley Harris
Marmee – Nelly Light
Aunt March – Terry Woods
Mr. Brooks – Josh Marinakis
Laurie – Alec Patton
Professor – Christopher St. James
Mr. Laurence – Dale Trimble
Little Women the Musical opens at The Owen Theatre, Friday, December 1 and runs through Sunday, December 17. Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, December 1, 2, 8,9,15,16 and Thursday night December 14. There are 3 Sunday matinees scheduled for December 3, 10, 17 at 2pm. Save the dates for “Little Women” it will be a special treat for the season.
For information or to purchase tickets, please call 936-539-4090 or visit our website at www.owentheatre.com and click on tickets
Each Player’s production at the Owen this season will be helping a worthy cause or a nonprofit in the area. Simply donate a little and you will help a lot. The organization for this show is called “A Chance to Bloom”. This is a dog rescue in the Conroe area with foster volunteers located in surrounding areas. The website goes on to say, “by foster, we mean that there are loving people who willingly take in these beautiful transient creatures and do their very best to provide them with safety, security and love. ‘tis the season to help out. Louisa May Alcott once said, “Life and love are precious when both are in full bloom.”. Support, A Chance to Bloom
— Terry Woods