Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Little Women"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2008 by Tony Annicone

"Little Women"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Bay Colony's current production is "Little Women", a musical with a book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland. Based on Lousia May Alcott's classic semi-autobiographical novel, it focuses on the four March sisters-feisty, tomboyish, aspiring author Jo, romantic Meg, pretentious Amy and kind-hearted Beth and their beloved mother, Marmee, at home in Concord, Massachusetts while the family patriarch is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. Intercut with the vignettes in which their lives unfold are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio. Director/choreographer Dori Bryan chose the best people for the roles in the show while musical director, Rob Goldman taught all the intricate and lovely music to his multitalented cast.

Lead by the very talented Aimee Doherty as Jo, the show soars with her leading the way, showing humor in Jo's social ineptitude and lack of pretense. Her Jo is plucky and likable and her numbers are charmingly sung especially "The Fire within Me". Michael Warner's tenor voice soars off the charts with his "Take a Chance on Me" and the group number "Five Forever". The two story set was designed by Sandra Myatt while all the costumes were made by Daniel Kozar who plays Laurie's grandfather in the show. A tear jerking performance is given by high school student, Alexandra Lonati as the sweet fragile, doomed Beth who gets to show off her voice in "Off to Massachusetts" and the lovely ballad "Some Things Are Meant to Be". The song articulates Beth's serenity about a life only half lived. But as Marmee, Donna Milani Luther's stirring, vocally resplendent interpretation in her song "Days of Plenty" which conveys her grief and her fortitude to Jo. Aimee gets strong support down the line by a tight, talented ensemble. Beautiful blonde Jennifer Rizzo as Meg shows off her strong soprano voice while Kacey Daley is a hoot as the tantrum prone brat with a yen for sophisticated living show flits off to Europe with starchy Aunt March wonderfully played by Jeanine Belcastro. So for an excellent rendition of this nineteenth century novel, be sure to catch "Little Women" in Foxboro before time runs out.

"Little Women" (10 - 18 May)
BAY COLONY PRODUCTIONS
Orpheum Theatre, 1 School St, Foxboro, MA
1 (508) 543-ARTS

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