Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review of Lil' Women: A Rap Musical by Nobody's Sweetheart Productions at Chicago Fringe Festival

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Lil' Women: A Rap Musical. It was written by Sara Stock and Lindsay Taylor with music and lyrics by Isaac Folch with Jordan Keyes. It was based on the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. But it was a rap a musical and that novel was not about rapping; that book was about surviving hard times during the Civil War and what happens after the Civil War to the March girls. I thought it was a great idea because it was such a big change and that made it really funny because it is not just Little Women; it is a rap musical!

There was a song called "Who's That Boy?" which was about how Beth (Chelsea Hillend) and Amy (Ana Eligio) and Meg (Megan Borkes) thought that the boy who lived next door, Laurie (Adam Scharf), was really cute and "looks like he's got loot," and they wanted to marry him and spy on him. I thought that it was a really good song because it was really catchy, and it was all in very good time, and it was also really funny. One of the funny parts was how they were looking at him and even when Meg was saying "No!" she was kind of looking herself.

The song where Beth and Marmee (Sara Stock) were telling Jo (Rebecca Siegel) that she should really just forget about how Amy burned her manuscript made me feel angry. She shouldn't just say, "Oh, my manuscript is burnt but I should just walk away from it"! She should say, "That is my manuscript; my entire life has gone into that, and now it is gone. All of my stories that I have ever ever told are in there. And if I didn't memorize them that means that they are gone forever." She does rap that during the song, but at the end she decides, "They are right. I should just walk away instead of getting all messed up over it." That is a problem that I have with the book, and the writers of the play could not do anything about it, so I don't blame them. It was interesting to listen to, but it wasn't really fun because you felt sorry for Jo.

I thought that the song "Commander in Chief" was really funny. The father (Jim Doyle) was singing about how he had come home from the war and how he was still the boss of the house. It was funny because he said a lot of things that were very obvious. Like he said that he walked in and he used the house like he was the boss, because he was. I thought that it was great how all the girls were like his back-up band.

"Realism" is a song that is about how Frederic (Chris Dinger) wanted Jo's stories to be more realistic. I thought that was basically the scene that they fell in love in. I think that they are a good match for each other because he wants to help her in whatever she can do with her writing. It helps make her a better and more popular writer. I thought it was good how she had to go away to see her sister right in the middle of the song. She got the letter from the DJ (Cody Bush). I liked how they used the DJ as one of the characters. It was funny how Amy was trying to get the manuscript from him. In a previous scene he had tried to give her a high five and she refused. And she gave him a high five later, and he was like "yeah!" and she grabbed the manuscript from him.

There was a song that was called "Beth's Death" that was really sad because Jo had come back from New York to come and see her sister while she dies, and she sang this really sad song about how she's almost there and how she is coming back to her house. Just by thinking about it you want to sing it because it is a very touching song and you like to sing it even though it is a sad song. There's not much rapping in this song, so it is not a toe-tapper, but it is a bittersweet song. The sweet part is that she would come home to be with her sister instead of continue her career for now because Beth was very ill. The bitter part is that Beth probably will die.

People who would like this show are people who like rapping, ill-spittin' lil' women, and tricky high fives. People should go see this show because it is funny but also touching. And it is a big change from the actual book, but it is a good change too. You have two more chances to go and see it. The dates are Sunday, September 1 at 4pm and Monday, September 2 at 8:30pm at the Chicago Fringe Festival.

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