Little Women is deceptive. It is loved because of its simplicity—the story of a spunky Civil War-era family facing trials and tribulations with grit, determination, and a lot of love and laughter. But underneath the veneer of the happy hearth and home is also the portrait of a grab-the-gusto girl turning into a fiery independent woman. That’s why all of us grrls fell in love with Jo and the whole March family.Now, this beloved classic has been turned into Little Women—The Musical, with mixed results. The story is still engaging, though the emphasis has changed from the March family to Jo as an emerging writer. This is good for the star, the engaging and full-of-fire actress Kate Fisher. But we lose the presence of the father and the real drama of Beth’s death, both of which sentimentalized the book.
In exchange, we do gain music. Unfortunately, the lackluster songs do little to flesh out the story. Then again, we also get a wonderful Maureen McGovern as Marmee; an enthusiastic and hardworking cast; and the most handsome, Christmas-card-perfect Victorian costumes, sets and scenery.