By Fran Syverson
They’re back! “LittleWomen,” beloved by many generations of girls and women, springs to life onceagain at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Nostalgia reigns as we reacquaintourselves with Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
Despite oftenthought of collectively as the four March sisters, each evolves into her ownperson with unique personality and talents—writing, acting, drawing, music. Theydo so on a stage lifted right out of the mid-1800s. Designed by NicholasAcciani, the living room has patterned wallpaper, a tall grandfather’s clock, afireplace opposite Beth’s treasured piano, antique wall-hung portraits, and footstools. Also evoking the era are the gorgeous, voluminous gowns worn by thewomen, and designed by Shon LeBlanc.
Even though thedrama runs two hours, it could not span the entire storyline of the book uponwhich it is based, Louisa Mae Alcott’s “Little Women.” So Artistic DirectorChristian Lebano has chosen to focus on a sort of elongated moment in the 1864-65lives of the March family. His adaptation captures many watershed moments ofthe story—Beth’s scarlet fever, Aunt March’s imperious demeanor, the family’sconcern for their father away in the war, Marmee’s tender compassion…
The productionis a collaboration of the Playhouse and the California School of the Arts-SanGabriel Valley. Students from CSArts are double-cast. In the Orchard Cast areAaliyah Brathwaite, Jilleah Channels, Julianna Riley, Samantha Lebedev,Sullivan Braun, and Aria Tomar. In the Hillside Cast are Marylou Martinez,Annika Bolton, Simone Link, Sasha Stula, Jacob David McNulty, and LucaNicoletti. Adult professional actors are Andrea Stradling as Marmee, AlisonKalmus as Aunt March, Rosanne Barker as Hannah, and Dan Hazel as John Brook.
Admission is $30 for adults, seniors 65-and-older pay $25, and youth 17-and-younger pay $15. “Little Women” runs most weekends, Thursday-Sunday, through Nov. 3. For tickets or information, call (626) 355-4318 or visit sierramadreplayhouse.org.