Carousel Theatre

 

Little Women
Music and Lyrics by Jim Betts
Book by Nancy Early
Adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott

Venue: Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island
Dates: 6 - 27 December 2003

Reviewer: Jane Penistan


 


 


 



Director Carole Higgins Musical Director and Accompanist Dorothy Dittrich Choreographer Jennifer Bishop Costume design Rebekka Sorensen Set design Bryan Pollock Lighting design Jonathan Ryder Stage manager Karla Turner
 
 

 


Little Women Little Women is a delightful musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's famous and well-loved novel. The script does not fall into the trap of sentimentality, but retains the wisdom and optimism of the author. The music and lyrics are lively and tuneful and the choreography simple but well performed. The ingenious set is an open book with suspended cut outs and solid furniture, beautifully lit, its illustrations. On these pages the actors perform in well researched and reproduced mid 19th century fashions, right down to the boots. Both impecunity and opulence are evident.

The impetuous and rebellious Jo March is Tara Fynn, a tomboy in long skirts and frilly drawers. Angela Hendricks is Meg who longs to be well off and socially acceptable. The gentle, shy and musical Beth is sympathetically played by Alison MacDonald, who can also sing well. The youngest sister, Amy is the disarming 11 year old, Claire Mortifee. The boy next 

 

 

 

 

door, Laurie, or Theodore Laurence (David Beazely) is a frustrated and sensitive would be pianist, disciplined and misunderstood by his authoritarian, irascible grandfather, forcefully played by John Innes, and hounded by his tutor, the bumbling John Brooke (Matt Olver), whose love for Meg is long unrequited. Anna Hagan is a wonderfully autocratic Aunt March, in strong contrast to the courageous, wise and tolerant Marmee (Sarah Louise Turner). Lara Gilchrist is Meg's wealthy friend who leads her astray.

This production adheres faithfully to the novel of its origin. Carole Higgins and her cast have caught the simplicity and warmth of the text, with its ingenuous charm. This is a well acted and technically well presented production. This is a performance all the family can enjoy, the children for the story and visual presentation and the adults for that added indulgence in nostalgia which comes with reliving the enchantments of youth.

Little Women runs at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, December 6 - 27, 2003. For more information and to book tickets telephone Carousel Theatre Box Office 604-695-6217

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2003, Jane Penistan