BWW Review: LITTLE WOMEN at Holmdel Theatre Company Tells A Heartwarming Story About Family and Sisterhood
Holmdel Theatre Company begins its 2019-2020 season with Little Women: The Musical. The show features a book by Alan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and music by Jason Howland. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005 starring Sutton Foster in the lead role of Jo. Little Women ran on Broadway for four months and was nominated for multiple Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, directed by Emily Jackson, tells the story of the four March sisters (Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth) and their mother, Marmee, who form a bond while their father is away at war. Set in Concord, Massachusetts during the 1860's Civil War Era, the musical shows the lives of four women growing up together and venturing on their own separate paths.
Shannen Doyle stars in the lead role of Jo, the second oldest sister, who is a passionate, aspiring writer with a vivid imagination. Doyle put her heart and soul into the role and you could feel the emotion in her performance, especially in the songs "Better," "Astonishing," and "The Fire Within Me." It was clear that she was made for this part and by the end of the show she had tears in her eyes, which proved how much she loved being in this show.
Rach Phelan is the sweet, proper Meg, the eldest sister who has traditional values. Rebecca Ryan portrays the boisterous, artistic Amy, who is jealous of her sister Jo's creative talent. Rachel Brudner plays the quiet, piano prodigy Beth, the second youngest of the March sisters. Completing the rest of the cast is Victoria Keiser as Marmee, Stephanie Long as Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk, Keenan Buckley as Laurie, Jason Kruk as Professor Bhear, Bill King as Mr. Laurence, and Rob Kevlin as John Brooke.
The creative elements of Little Women brought life to this musical, taking the audience back into the 1860's era. The actors sang a beautiful score written by Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland. The set design by Joyce Horan exemplified a stage version of the March Family's house in New England. Each character wore antique, printed costumes courtesy of Playtime Costumes and Kathy Connolly, danced effortless choreography by Kathy Connolly, and the intriguing lighting and sound design by Chris Szczerbienski set the tone for each scene.
Holmdel Theatre Company's production of Little Women was heartwarming and emotional. The themes of the show reminded the audience of why family, sisterhood, and friendship are important in hard times and even when siblings grow up and move on with their lives, they will always have ties that keep them together. Little Women is definitely a piece of theatre that should be experienced with loved ones.
Tickets for Little Women can be purchased by calling 732-946-0427 or by visiting the Holmdel Theatre Company website at https://www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org/little-women. The show will be performed in the Duncan Smith Theater through November 24. The theatre is located at 36 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel, NJ. For more information on Holmdel Theatre Company, you can follow them on Twitter @RealHTC, Instagram @holmdeltheatrecompany, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holmdeltheatrecompany/.