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Little Women Weaving a Tapestry of Life

By • Aug 13th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the Tapestry Theatre Company’s production of Little Women [MP3 3:54 1.1MB].

Laura: We saw the Tapestry Theatre Company‘s production of Little Women in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mike: Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott and published in 1868. It is semi-autobiographical. Jo March is the character of the author. It tells the story of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, four little women growing up in New England during the Civil War. The main character is Jo. She wants to be a writer so she starts selling her fantastic tales to a local publication as an income. The sisters all have love interests. The parents have some medical issues to deal with.

Laura: I thought it was a good show. It was easy to follow. Not a complex plot. The set was nice and I thought it was well done.

Clockwise from left: Natalie Woods as Beth; Larissa Kruesi as Meg; Rachel Simms as Amy;Sara Drehmer as Jo; and Penny McKee as Marmee.

Mike: This was a good show. There were a few spots in the story line where it felt very contrived. For example, the very end of the show all of a sudden everything is getting wrapped up very quickly. It’s something I usually call a “Star Trek Ending.” The Starship Enterprise is under attack and everything looks bleak. You come back from a commercial and the captain is telling the story into his log about, “Ok, we fixed everything by doing the magic red button.” Everything just kind of fixes itself. That’s kind of what the ending of this show felt like to me. It was a very quick wrap up to the show.

Laura: The second oldest daughter of Mrs. March was Jo. She was played by Sara Drehmer. I liked her performance. She wasn’t as plucky as I was picturing in my mind, but she did a good job. There was one scene that I thought was really good between her and Laurie, her childhood friend. They were discussing their romantic interests. She let him down, but did it as gently as she could. I thought that was a very intense emotional scene.

Mike: There was another good scene with Laurie, played by Cody Crenshaw and Amy, played by Rachel Simms. Amy had been out shopping, and she saw their nanny running down the street looking for the doctor. So she came home and Laurie had to give some bad news to Amy. She did a really good job with how she took that news. It seemed very believable her reaction to the news that Laurie had to share. I liked that scene.

From left: Sara Drehmer as Jo; Penny McKee as Marmee; Michael Fisher as Professor Bhaer; and Dick Costello as Mr. Marsh.

Laura: The costumes were really well done. Being 1865 around the time of the Civil War the hoop skirts were in and all of the women had the big flowing hoop skirts that looked really uncomfortable. The makeup was well done. Beth, played by Natalie Woods, was one of the daughters of Mrs. March who was sickly a lot. Throughout the performance they put makeup on her. The makeup artist was Lolita Marie. She did a really good job of making Beth look paler and sicklier and it was really very convincing.

Mike: The set was very nice as well. It was a living room scene with some stairs and different entrances for the dining area and the library and the main entrance to the home. That was really nicely done. I liked the fire place. Again, just like in last night’s A Doll House, there were no lamps anywhere in the room. It would have been a nice touch to have some kind of lamps on tables along the edges just to imply there are lights in the room.

From left: Larissa Krueis as Meg and Alex Avila as John Brooke.

Laura: Little Women is playing through August 27th. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 3 PM at the Lee Center Kauffman Auditorium in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mike: We would encourage you to support the Tapestry Theatre and see this show. They are one of the very few theater groups doing shows in August.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. I am writing to find out if the actress who played Marnee, Penny McKee, in your production of “Little Women” studied acting at the NEighborhood Playhouse in NYC back in the late 80’s. I went to school there with someone named Penny Mckee. I wondered what became of her and googled her name and your site came up. The photos arent clear enough for me to tell if its her (I havent seen here in @15 years). We were really good friends and she moved from NYC in the early 90’s and, as life has it, we lost touch. If you can offer any clues as to whether or not this is the same actress that would be appreciated. Thanks!!

    Michael Lester