Musical Review: Little Women: A Little Musical
Written by Phillip Morris
This past week, I had the pleasure to attend the final rehearsal of Van Wert Civic Theatre’s production of “Little Women – A Little Musical.” The title is quite an understatement as a little musical it is not. This wonderful production is a rather big musical by bringing a popular and familiar story to the stage and filling it with music, beautiful costuming, charming scenery, and a sense of appreciation for life. For those who enjoy a historical period piece of dramatic work about life, you are in for a treat.
Set in New England during the Civil War time, the joys and sorrows people experienced then and now in life are exemplified in the show. A few of the universal experiences of life are depicted in the performance by very realistic characters. Trials of family life and the endurance of getting through those times with the strong ties of family bonding bring on a feeling of love and hope.
The “little women” of the show are played by Victoria Knapke as Meg, Bella Chorvas as Jo, Emily Klir as Beth, and Tabitha Howell as Amy. Their exceptional acting creates some very nice moments which are pleasurable and at times sentimental. One of the many pleasant and touching songs begins right away towards the opening of the show with Father March (Bob Howell) and Marmee (Jewell Kurtz) singing about the struggles of being separated by the war. It was beautifully sung by both of them. They, along with the other performers, have a way of bringing you into the special moments of the show by tugging at your heart with their singing and soft, emotional expressions. Dee Fisher, Joe Warnement, Peyton Closson, Josh Adcock, Burdette Bolenbaugh, Ketie Heffner, Rachel Davis, Faith Maurer, Ellie Warnement, Noah Howell, and Autumn Howell fill out the cast and all bring life to the show in one way or another by blending together the uniqueness of individuals with the wonders, disappointments, and joys of life.
When it comes to some of the details of the costuming, the costume director, RuthAnn Boley, made sure everything was to its finest. Not only were the costumes wonderfully “fitting” for the time period, no pun intended, the set also was just the right touch for this show. Some of the scenes had such a wonderful warm feel which enhanced the mood of the story. With the many set changes, the transitions from scene to scene seamlessly flowed together. The stage manager, Joe Maurer, and his stage crew easily handled those transitions. Overall, Director Joe Warnement clearly had a well thought out method and an artistic eye for the creation of this beautiful musical.
I encourage you to see this fine theatrical performance by our local performers at the Van Wert Civic Theatre. The show runs Oct. 3-5, 2013.
CAST AND CREW OF “LITTLE WOMEN, A LITTLE MUSICAL”
Directed by Joe Warnement, Kalida
Musical Director Dee Fisher, Van Wert
Jo March – Bella Chorvas, Ohio City
Meg March – Victoria Knapke, Celina
Amy March – Tabitha Howell, Van Wert
Beth March – Emily Klir, Fort Jennings
Marmee – Jewell Kurtz, Van Wert
Father March – Robert Howell, Van Wert
Aunt March – Dee Fisher, Van Wert
Hannah the housekeeper – Katie Hefner, Lima
Mr. Willoughby/Dr. Larsen – Burdette Bollenbaugh, Van Wert
Mr. Laurence – Joe Warnement, Kalida
Laurie Laurence – Peyton Closson, Van Wert
John Brook – Josh Adcock, Lima
Maid – Rachel Davis, Van Wert