Review: Little Women, Big Hearts

This Friday I got out of work very frustrated and ready to go to bed, but then I walked into Arthur Miller Theater to see the Department of Musical Theatre Studio Production’s Little Women the Musical. As soon as the show started it was like I was taken back to my own childhood as we explored the adventures of the young protagonist Jo March. Her family, consisting of her mother, her three sisters, her father away at war, and the later addition of their friend Laurie, went through both hardship and joy as Jo grows up with a dream of writing. This story is famous and is a piece of classic American literature. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, has inspired and

moved millions of Americans and has led to the production of a movie, a musical, an opera, and a play. It is such a beautiful story and it always gets to me (I saw the opera last year) because I also have three siblings and I often feel like it is the four of us up on stage. Anyway, enough about yours truly.

The show! The music is original, magnificent, and fun. A large portion of the story takes place in Jo’s childhood, and the music reflects that perfectly. It is bouncy, fun, and sort of quirky sometimes like Jo herself. The lyrics are also cleverly written to reflect the youth and innocence so important to the story. All the actors carry out the scenes of adolescence so well. The funniest things happen and they dance around like mad, but they never break character. But of course, they are fantastic. For those who often visit the campus musical theater scene, these actors are locally renowned for great performances and you may recognize their names; Jane Bruce as Jo, Trevor St. John-Gilbert as Professor Bhaer, Ali Gordon, Samantha Massell and Paige Silvester as the sisters, Katherine Thomas as Marmee, and Harry Katzman as Mr. Lawrence (Full Cast). I preferred this version of the show to the opera, but I have a feeling that the reason is because the musical is a little more cheerful. I remember that the opera seemed really depressing and a little slow, whereas this one seemed to moved faster and, though it was sad, it didn’t leave me sad the entire night. I just cried the whole second act with a friend of mine. No big deal.

I was also excited to finally go the Arthur Miller theater. Last time I went there was for freshmen orientation! I enjoyed the set design of the show, being very open with few props. The set allowed for multiple entrances, giving it a much more interactive feel. The audience was also right next to the stage and the theater donates an almost Shakespearian theater style, taking place right among the viewers.

Although this is my not my favorite musical, I did enjoy it very much and I was so glad to go out and support all of the wonderful performers, especially since it will be my last time seeing many of them. This will also be my last art[seen] post for seven months! That’s right folks! I’m studying abroad this winter in Italy at the University of Bologna! Luckily for me, Italian is my major, which means studying abroad is basically required. But don’t worry. If you will miss me, you can see my blog posts every week because I’m moving over to arts, ink. for the semester as an ambassador abroad! So if you are looking for me online, just check out my weekly blog on the arts, ink. website. I’ll be writing about art in Italy, which obviously isn’t that hard to find.

I hope you are all worker harder than I am on exams, because I know I need to crack down. So with that, I begin yet another paper and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Here’s to a new year and a new country!

Sending you love and light,

Danny Fob

(Coffee is on me if you can name the show that my sign off is from!)

Seriously, read my blog at arts, ink.!

Danny Fob

I'm a Junior in LSA majoring in Italian and minoring in Art History. I love writing for art[seen] because it gives me the opportunity to show all of these amazing shows that the University brings to Ann Arbor. We get some world class performers and I would be really bummed if I missed out on anything that I'll never have to opportunity to see again. What you need to know about me? I'm not a writer, an art expert, and I didn't grow up around this much culture. I am a busy student at UofM, so if you are judging me for something, it's okay because I won't have time to respond. I'll just keep seeing shows and you can be jealous!