Don Reviews The Dallas Production Of "Little Women"
I am going to be honest here: there are some classic stories that I have never experienced, like “Gone with the Wind” or “Casablanca” on screen or “Tom Sawyer” or “A Catcher in the Rye” from start to finish in print. Over the last few years, I have been able to start catching up on these because of the opportunities our show has been given to review films and stage productions, including “Little Women,” now at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre through March 1st.
Based on the popular novel by Louisa May Alcott, this story takes place during the Civil War in Massachusetts and is based around Jo March (Pearl Rhein), who lives in meager means with only her mother, Marmie (Liz Mikel) and three sisters Beth (Maggie Thompson), Amy (Lilli Hokama), and Meg (Jennie Greenberry)as their father is off serving in the war. Jo is a free-spirited aspiring writer who bonds with their new neighbor Laurie Laurence (Louis Reyes Williams), who lives with his wealthy grandfather (Mike Sears). What follows is the story of the four sisters maturing into women and dealing with life, careers, family and love.
Since I was able to see this performance at The Kalita Humphreys Theater, I got to experience it with its neat stage setup featuring a turntable, which gives all of the transitions a very smooth look. With the use of the stage and props, I truly felt like I was going from one location to the next with the cast along with very effective lighting. There are also no bad performances in my opinion from this cast as a whole, with Rhein doing well in particular coupled with very good chemistry between all four sisters. The role I found most enjoyable was Hokama as Amy, who plays the role of the youngest sister that just wants to raise her social stock by adding a good bit of comedy to the overall performance.
There are a few storylines and plot points there are omitted here, but that can reasonably be expected in just at two hours of stage time with an intermission in the middle. Some may wonder if this works within this time frame, but I thought it was just right. One thing I really enjoyed is how they fast forwarded the story in this production by having them walk around on the turntable, which gave me the feeling of traveling through time at a fast pace. I truly did enjoy this presentation of “Little Women” and will recommend it as the back of the main floor seating.