Jenna Marynowski (JM): Little Women was one of the best musicals I’ve seen this year – the music, the sets, the dialogue – The Citadel did a great job of bringing the story to life. However, above all else, the actors’ passion and the way each actor genuinely conveyed their character’s emotions was very impressive.
Ana Miranda (AM): I agree, the actors, especially Shannon Taylor in the role of Jo, were very passionate. I was impressed by Jo and her ability to stay active and playful -like how her character is portrayed in the book – for 3 hours.
JM: Jo was amazing! I overheard one of the audience members saying “she has enough energy for both her and me”. Being able to inspire that sort of reaction in the audience speaks to Taylor’s talent.
AM: I was also impressed by the fact that, even though I know the story quite well, I wasn’t bored or found it tedious at all. I also thought that the way the stage was set up allowed for very smooth transitions from scene to scene, and yet the scenery was different enough to clearly indicate to the audience that the place had changed.
JM: For me, coming from a background of not knowing the story at all, I was never lost although scene changes (and even changes in time) happened frequently. The co-ordination of scenery changes and the dialogue to introduce the time was done well.
AM: I enjoyed the transitions—although I now feel like some of the events happened too fast. But when you have such a long story you don’t have that much time to show everything. Events happened fast, yet the play didn’t seemed too rushed for me at the time. It was very well balanced.
JM: I loved how the songs were integrated throughout the play. Sometimes musicals can take the concept of being a “musical” too far and only have 5 minutes of dialogue between songs. I know that a lot of people don’t like musicals for that very reason. Yet, in this adaptation of Little Women, the songs flowed naturally from the dialogue and setting. Given the wide audience the story line appeals to, I think the timing and content of the songs were great choices by the playwrite.
AM: Well, I wasn’t too impressed by how the songs were integrated, some of the songs seemed out of place to me. Not that they weren’t appropriate at that time, just that they didn’t seem to express as much of the characters’ feelings as I would’ve liked. Some of the songs also reminded me of tunes I had heard before.
JM: That’s an interesting point. I thought the songs were “comfortable” for the audience to listen to. They moved the plot forward in a fun way and were easy to listen to and enjoy. Maybe because of the wide range of people that the story appeals to – the play was attended by everyone from age 6 to 80 or older, and both men and women – perhaps that had something to do with how the songs were written and performed.
Little Women was a thoroughly enjoyable musical catering to audiences of all ages and gender. It is yet another play that represented the talented theatre productions that prevail in Edmonton. Little Women ran at The Citadel from April 30 – May 22 and featured participants of the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Company.
—Ana Miranda and Jenna Marynowski