Virginia Theatre, (1/23/2005 - 5/22/2005)

First Preview: Dec 07, 2004
Opening Date: Jan 23, 2005
Closing Date: May 22, 2005
Total Previews: 55
Total Performances: 137

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway
Setting: Concord, Massachusetts and New York City. Christmas 1863 - Spring 1867

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Randall L. Wreghitt, Dani Davis, Ken Gentry, Chase Mishkin, Worldwide Entertainment, Ruben Brache, Lisa Vioni, Jana Robbins and Addiss/Duke Associates; Produced in association with John & Danita Thomas, Thomas Keegan, Scott Freiman and Theatre Previews at Duke (Zannie Voss, Producing Director)

Based on the play originally commissioned and produced by Theatreworks/USA

Book by Allan Knee; Music by Jason Howland; Additional arrangements by Andrew Wilder; Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein; Musical Director: Andrew Wilder; Music orchestrated by Kim Scharnberg; Vocal arrangements by Lance Horne; Originally conceived by Allan Knee, Kim Oler and Alison Hubbard; Based on the novel "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott

Directed by Susan H. Schulman; Choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld; Associate Director: Darcy Evans; Associate Choreographer: Joe Bowerman

Scenic Design by Derek McLane; Costume Design by Catherine Zuber; Lighting Design by Kenneth Posner; Sound Design by Peter Hylenski; Hair and Wig Design by Lazaro Arencibia; Associate Scenic Design: Michael Todd Potter; Associate Lighting Design: Paul Miller; Associate Lighting Design/Programmer: Timothy F. Rogers

General Manager: Richards / Climan, Inc.; Company Manager: Amy Merlino

Technical Supervisor: Larry Morley and William J. Craven; Production Supervisor: Beverley Randolph; Stage Manager: Scott Taylor Rollison

Conducted by Andrew Wilder; Associate Conductor: Robert Meffe; Piano: Robert Meffe; Reeds: Lawrence Feldman and Lynne Cohen; Trumpet: Tony Kadleck; Trombone: Mark Lusk; Horn: Russell Rizner; Percussion: James Saporito; Violin: Eric DeGioia and Karl Kawahara; Viola: Liuh-Wen Ting; Cello: Ted Mook; Bass: Richard Sarpola; Musical Coordinator: John Miller

Casting: Barry Moss and Bob Kale; Press Representative: The Pete Sanders Group and Pete Sanders; Marketing: The Marketing Group; Dance Captain: Joe Bowerman; Dialect Coach: Deborah Hecht; Advertising: The Eliran Murphy Group, Ltd.; Photographer: Joan Marcus; Press Associate: Glenna Freedman

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Opening Night Cast

Sutton FosterJo
Maureen McGovernMarmee
The Hag
Operatic Tragedy
Janet CarrollAunt March
Mrs. Kirk
Danny GurwinLaurie
Rodrigo
Operatic Tragedy
John HickokProfessor Bhaer
Amy McAlexanderAmy
The Troll
Operatic Tragedy
Megan McGinnisBeth
Rodrigo Too
Operatic Tragedy
Jenny PowersMeg
Clarissa
Operatic Tragedy
Robert StattelMr. Laurence
The Knight
Operatic Tragedy
Jim WeitzerMr. Brooke
Braxton
Operatic Tragedy

Standby: Julie Foldesi (Beth, Clarissa, Jo, Meg, Rodrigo Too), Chris Gunn (Braxton, Laurie, Mr. Brooke, Rodrigo), Anne Kanengeiser (Aunt March, Marmee, Mrs. Kirk, The Hag), Larissa Shukis (Amy, Beth, Clarissa, Meg, Rodrigo Too, The Troll) and Andrew Varela (Braxton, Mr. Brooke, Mr. Laurence, Professor Bhaer, The Knight)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2005 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Sutton Foster

Drama Desk Award

 2005 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Sutton Foster

 2005 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Maureen McGovern

 2005 Outstanding Orchestrations [nominee] 

Kim Scharnberg

Songs

music by Jason Howland; lyrics by Mindi Dickstein

ACT 1 Sung By
An Operatic TragedyJo, Clarissa (Operatic Tragedy), Braxton (Operatic Tragedy), Rodrigo (Operatic Tragedy) and Professor Bhaer
BetterJo
Our Finest DreamsJo, Beth, Meg and Amy
Here AloneMarmee
Could You?Aunt March and Jo
I'd Be DelightedMarmee, Meg, Jo and Beth
Take a Chance on MeLaurie
Better (Reprise) Jo
Off to MassachusettsBeth and Mr. Laurence
Five ForeverJo, Laurie, Beth, Meg and Amy
More Than I AmJohn Brooke and Meg
AstonishingJo
ACT 2 Sung By
The Weekly Volcano PressCompany
Off to Massachusetts (Reprise) Beth and Mr. Laurence
How I AmProfessor Bhaer
Some Things Are Meant to BeBeth and Jo
The Most Amazing ThingLaurie and Amy
Days of PlentyMarmee
The Fire Within MeJo
Small Umbrella in the RainProfessor Bhaer and Jo

Reviews


AP: "Broadway's Genteel 'Little Women'"

Jo March, the spirited center of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," is a perfect musical-theater heroine. She could be a distant cousin of such female independence icons as Nellie Forbush, Eliza Doolittle, Dolly Levi, Fanny Brice, Mame Dennis and more. And as played by Sutton Foster, Jo is a joy to watch in an otherwise lukewarm new musical version of Alcott's novel, which opened Sunday at Broadway's Virginia Theatre.

Foster, a Tony winner several seasons ago for "Thoroughly Modern Millie," works hard, very hard in fact, to lift the show, which is far too genteel for its own good. What entertainment it delivers is primarily in Foster's hands, and it is fortunate that this engaging, spunky performer is on stage for a good portion of the evening.

"Little Women," under the direction of Susan H. Schulman, is tasteful if plodding, with a thorough, straightforward book by Allan Knee and a pallid, unsurprising score by Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein.

The musical, set mostly in New England during the Civil War, covers all the novel's highlights, focusing on the adventures of those March girls - Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy.

Jo is an exasperating know-it-all, appalling in her directness and determined to succeed as a writer, particularly as an author of what she calls "blood and guts" theatricals. There's an appealing gawkiness about Foster's wide-eyed performance that plays into Jo's insecurities about herself and her writing.

And the actress is one of those complete musical performers, at home in song, dance, comedy and drama. There doesn't seem to be anything she can't do. For example, at the end of Act 1, Foster is given one of those earsplitting anthems for young women that seem to be in fashion right now on Broadway. Think "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked" or "Once Upon a Time," the big number in "Brooklyn The Musical." Foster's first-act finale is called "Astonishing," and her delivery lives up to the song's title.

Maureen McGovern, as Marmee, the benevolent matriarch of the March family, is equally affecting. She has a beautiful voice, which Howland and Dickstein take full advantage of in the evening's most accomplished songs, "Here Alone" and "Days of Plenty."

Yet much of "Little Women" sounds dutiful rather than inspired with the three remaining sisters - played by Jenny Powers (Meg), Megan McGinnis (Beth) and Amy McAlexander (Amy) - shortchanged in the melody department.

But then so are the men, who appear to be something of an afterthought. The show, admittedly, is called "Little Women." Yet does the Jo-struck Professor Bhaer, played by John Hickok, need to be such a stammering dolt when confronted by love? And Danny Gurwin's Laurie, another of Jo's would-be conquests, also suffers from a bad case of simpering.

Designer Derek McLane has created several atmospheric settings, particularly his backdrops evoking the change of seasons, from the crisp, cold New England winter to a bower of white roses that captures the same scene in summer.

McLane also provides a massive, spooky attic, Jo's workplace, where her imagination is allowed to soar and where she does most of her writing.

"Little Women" has its heart in the right place and, for some, particularly those looking for family entertainment, its wholesome earnestness could be enough. Others will have to be content to savor the accomplishments of its star, who, indeed, does shine bright.


AP
01/23/2005

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Virginia Theatre

(1/23/2005 - 5/22/2005)

Standbys: Jim Stanek (Braxton, Laurie, Mr. Brooke, Rodrigo).


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