Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review of 20% Theatre Company's Little Women

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Little Women. It was adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott by Timothy Good, with script adaptation by Emma Couling, Phoebe Gonzalez, and Lindsay A. Bartlett. It was directed by Couling. It was about four sisters named Jo (Charlotte Ostrow), Beth (Serena Pomerantz), Meg (Emily Green), and Amy (Rachael Barry), and their father was away at the Civil War. Life was hard for them because they didn't have much money. The story is mostly about Jo and about her writing and her trying to take care of her sisters. I think this show is about sisterhood, choosing an artistic line of work, and discovering things about yourself. I thought this was a good show. The acting was good and I felt like the story was very well adapted. It was amazing that they made such a good show in such a small and not-super-adaptable space.

The girls started this club called the Pickwick Club and they all dressed up like men and would put on these hilarious posh accents. Then they sat around and read the journal that they had written. Eventually they had Laurie (Christopher Ratliff), who is Jo's best friend and has a crush on her, join the club. I thought it showed how the sisters' relationship was; instead of just being miserable and being in poverty, they had fun and played games at home. It also showed how Jo's writing was very exciting and that her other sisters did not share that talent. Beth just wrote a recipe called "The History of the Squash"! I thought that that was really hilarious. And when Jo said that Beth did not have to have a speaking part in the play, Beth hugged her and was so happy. That tells you that Beth is very shy and doesn't really like to perform. This was one of my favorite scenes. I really liked it.

Jo had two men who were after her, Laurie and Professor Bhaer (TJ Anderson). She was very popular in that sense, but she was not a flirt at all. They like her so much because she is not shy at all. You can talk to her and she will most definitely talk back. She is not stuck up, but she still has an opinion and she is also very smart. Laurie is kind of a prankster, and she wants a more honest kind of man. Professor Bhaer and Jo have a lot of the same interests, like books and writing, and they like the idea of seeing the world. And they both like teaching. Professor Bhaer teaches her that she doesn't have to write what the papers want; she can write what she wants to write, which is stories more about her and more based on what she is like and her life. I don't think Laurie is a terrible choice at all, but he's just not right for Jo.

I think that they balanced the humor and sadness very well. They didn't have you bawling throughout the entire show, but you weren't laughing the entire show either. I thought it was funny when Meg would just be going about her work and doing something that wasn't a big deal and then the tutor Mr. Brooke (Nathan Dunn) would walk in and she would immediately freeze what she was doing and smooth out her dress, and I thought it was hilarious. That is so true; that is exactly what you do when your crush walks into the room. It was very sad when Beth was talking about how she wasn't afraid to die. And it was also really sad when Amy found out Beth had died, and she was with Laurie, and he tried to comfort her. I found that really moving too.

People who would like this show are people who like Pickwick clubs, moving stories, and the history of the squash. I think that people should definitely go see this show. I think this theater company should have way more people at their shows because I really enjoyed this and Fugue for Particle Accelerator.

Photos: Ashley Ann Woods

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