BWW Review: LITTLE WOMEN at FMCT
Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre Presents: Little Women
A musical based on the classic 1869 novel written by Louisa May Alcott. The story of the four March sisters. This story has been adapted to stage and screen numerous times, including the recent 2019 Hollywood movie release.
Having to relocate their productions due to building issues has not slowed down FMCT as they continue to bring shows to life for our community. For this production FMCT has utilized the Moorhead High School Theatre. This version of the show was directed and choreographed by Dawn Gunderson. Anyone who knows Dawn knows that directing this show has been a dream of hers and its wonderful to see her passion come to life on stage. There are many familiar faces in this show, and luckily you have a few more opportunities to check this out.
Hands down the star of this production is Megan Hovinen who portrays Jo. Megan is absolutely amazing in this role and she plays the independent Jo perfectly. Her stage presence is superb and her vocals were so powerful that I got chills a few times. In Act I we get to hear her shine on "An Operatic Tragedy", "Better", "Could You", "Five Forever" and she completely kills it on the closing number "Astonishing". In Act II We are treated to her beautiful voice on "Some Things Are Meant To Be", "Small Umbrella In The Rain" and another big number with "The Fire Within Me". Megan is such a talent and I look forward to seeing her on stage again soon. You might have seen her last summer as Jesus in GodSpell at FMCT.
Jeanie Smith-Murphy was great as Marmee. Jeanie is a veteran of FMCT production and it shows. Megan is such a versatile actress and it's always fun to see what she brings to a character. We are treated to her lovely voice on "Here Alone" and "Days of Plenty".
The other three sisters are played wonderfully by Emma Holder, April Maertens and Audrey Haugen as Amy, Meg and Beth. We get to hear all 4 sisters on "Our Finest Dreams" and "Five Forever". We get to hear April standout on "More Than I Am". On "Off To Massachusetts" we hear Audrey and we also hear her on "Some Things Are Meant To Be ". Emma gets her chance to shine on "The Most Amazing Thing".
Although the show is Little Women there are some great guys in here too. Keith Schweigert, Colby Schwartzwalter and Lucas Rutten as Mr. Lawrence, Laurie and John Brooke respectively. Keith plays the cranky old neighbor, who eventually softens up, so well. Keith gets to have fun on his duet with Audrey on "Off To Massachusetts". Lucas is wonderful on "More Than I am" with April. Colby is wonderful as Laurie and we are treated to his talent on "Take a Chance On Me", "Five Forever" and "The Most Amazing Thing"
I was happy to see one of my favorites on the cast list in Clayton Perala as Professor Bhaer. Clayton isn't in as many scenes but he makes them count. His comedic timing gets shown off as usual and we get to hear him solo on "How I Am" and "Small Umbrella In The Rain"
Joy Ciaffoni as Aunt March is another that wasn't in a lot of scenes but the ones she was in were very good. She was great on "Could You" with Megan.
The whole cast and crew was amazing and the big group number "The Weekly Volcano Press" to open Act II got to show off that talent.
Congrats to Dawn Gunderson and everyone involved in this production. Another stellar show from FMCT. I highly recommend this show.