The timeless story of the March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — in Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 19th-century novel, “Little Women,” has long been hailed as a romance, a quest story, a moral meditation on virtue and even a proto-feminist exploration of choices.
The tale has been adapted countless times for stage, film and musical presentation. Now, in an unusual “double-feature,” the University of Colorado Theatre & Dance Department and College of Music will present two distinct musical visions of Little Women, composer Mark Adamo’s opera and the Broadway musical by Allan Knee, Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland.
“We planned this on purpose, to stimulate interest in the material, share and develop audiences and to encourage music and theater lovers as well as American literature lovers to come out to compare and contrast,” says Leigh Holman, who will direct for CU Opera. Christopher Zemliauskas will conduct.
Adamo’s adaptation has been called a “masterpiece” by John Rockwell of The New York Times.
The Broadway musical will be directed by Cecilia Pang and performed by theater students.
Pang says the students are “excited to be working on the musical version of this beloved tale. The creators — Alan Knee, Mindi Dickstein, and Jason Howland — are very faithful to the original spirit of Alcott’s story.
“This play is all about about journeys,” she says. “Jo’s journey as a young girl, and the metaphorical journey of creating art.”
Story by Clay Evans, courtesy the College of Arts & Sciences