The joys and challenges of family life in Massachusetts during the Civil War brilliantly written in the novel “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott is once again returning to the stage in Woodstock for two weekends in November.
The novel is one of the most popular classic books of all time and has been made into several movies, stage plays and musicals, said G. Lora Grooms, artistic director at Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
“I first adapted “Little Women” as a musical in 2004 because it is such a wonderful, deep story,” said the local playwright, composer and director. “While we were rehearsing, we learned that a Broadway musical was in the works to open in 2005. My comment at the time was, ‘I knew it was a good idea.’”
Grooms’ version was repeated in Woodstock in 2009 and now again in 2013.
“Some of the music is based on old American folk melodies, to maintain an authentic feel to the show. I was able to add more songs to the production in 2009, and many of those cast members are best friends to this day,” Grooms said.
The play opens with the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, lamenting about the meager Christmas they will have since their Papa is serving as a chaplain with the Union Army and they don’t have much money to spend.
They opt to spend what money they do have on their mother, Marmee, who is known for her work in the community helping those who are less fortunate.
Across the street lives a wealthy young fellow, Theodore Laurence, who has been educated abroad and is preparing to go to college. He learns from the Marches what it means to have a real family and knows in his heart he will someday marry one of the sisters.
However, Marmee has other plans for her daughters and that is to marry for love, not money. She expects the world will be very different after the war ends and wants her girls to be strong and independent.
“Because the story spans over several years, we always cast two sets of sisters — one set for each act. We are fortunate once again to have such talent on our stage — familiar and new faces alike —from Woodstock and beyond.”
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, today and 22 and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Tickets are general admission: $10 in advance online or $12 at the door, including sales tax. For information or tickets, go to www.elmstreetarts.org or call (678) 494-4251.
Bring a can of chunky soup, stew, chili or a jar of peanut butter to donate to Papa’s Pantry and Elm Street will provide a free beverage at intermission.
“Little Women is a great theatrical experience — especially for moms, daughters, granddaughters, aunts, nieces and best friends to enjoy. We recommend having dinner or lunch at one of Woodstock’s great restaurants before or after seeing the show.”