Seven years ago, this new musical opened on Broadway, continuing with a National Tour. The Original
Broadway Cast included Sutton Foster in the role of Jo (Sutton is currently starring in the ANYTHING
GOES revival in New York) and Danny Gurwin as Laurie (Danny starred on the Moonlight Amphitheatre stage
as Jean Valjean in LES MISÉRABLES in 2008). I have wanted to produce and direct this musical for many years, knowing that the evocative musical score and the vibrant story is one that speaks to our current generation; especially through the central character Jo, whose determination to succeed as an author and an independent woman in a war-torn American society is a story that inspires with humor and passion. The musical is large for our AVO Playhouse, and I thank our scenic, costume, sound, lighting designers, and Moonlight's technical staff for serving the scope of the production with their ideas and skillful work. With Dr. Terry O'Donnell, our musical director and conductor; Ted Leib, assistant director; Carlos Mendoza, our choreographer, and Dixon Fish, scenic designer, the production has been creatively blessed.
The musical is based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel published in 1868-69; and it is semi-autobiographical, centered on the four March sisters (tomboy Jo, romantic Meg, artistic Amy, and kind-hearted Beth), along with their beloved mother Marmee, living in Concord, Massachusetts during and after the Civil War while father is away serving as a Union Army chaplain.
ACT ONE begins in New York City, January of 1865; the Civil War is over and Jo March is living in a boarding house, seeking to launch her career as a 'blood-and-guts' writer of thrillers. She re-enacts one of her stories to a boarder in the house, Professor Bhaer, who rejects the violence in the tale, encouraging her to do "Better." Jo reflects back two years earlier to her attic in Concord, where she and her sisters are concocting a play to celebrate Christmas during the difficult times of war. Even Marmee, their mother, decides to join the theatrics with high spirits. We meet Jo's Aunt March, a society matriarch, who promises to take Jo to Europe if she can conquer her tomboy ways; and Jo begins her education in society, which includes attending a St. Valentine's
Day ball. At the ball, Jo and Meg meet Laurie, (the engaging boy next door); and his tutor, Mr. John Brooke. Friendships are pursued and Laurie's Grandfather, Mr. Laurence, finds an admiration for young Beth's ability to play piano, leaving his irascible facade behind to open his life again to music.
ACT TWO opens in New York, June 1865, back at Mrs. Kirk's boarding house, where Jo finally sells her first story to the Weekly Volcano Press. The musical celebrates love, perseverance, and serving the "passion
within".....I toast to your discovery of this musical theatre experience!
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