Based on the semi-autobiographical novel, this Broadway musical version focuses on the four March sisters: the brassy, tomboyish, aspiring writer Josephine (Jo); hopeless romantic Meg; the ever-pretentious Amy; and kind-hearted Beth, as well as their beloved mother, Marmee.
The story centers on the sisters living at home in Concord, Mass., while the family patriarch, Mr. March, is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. Interjected with the scenes in which their lives unfold are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio.
Director for “Little Women” is 24-year-old Jonathan Humble from Chattanooga. No stranger to the stage, Humble spent much of his youth with the Chattanooga Boys Choir and even performed at The Colonnade in several produc-tions. Over time, he developed a passion for being “behind the scenes” and although he was only 18 when he began his successful directing career, the ambitious Humble already has nearly a dozen productions under his belt at the Tivioli Theatre in Chattanooga, as well as The Colonnade.
Humble said the updated “Little Women” musical stays pretty true to the novel and the time period, so devoted literary fans won’t be disappointed. He confessed that although “Little Women” was never a show he would’ve cho-sen, he was quickly won over by the project and said undoubtedly the musical aspect would be the key in bringing the classic back to new life.
“The first time I put the CD in and listened to it all the way through I was just blown away,” Humble said. “It captured me. I think they did such an extraordinary job of making the story feel epic for the stage. You can tell the writers wanted to present it as the classic, but even though you’re looking at a particular time period set and cos-tumes, the music and the songs give it a modern feel. It doesn’t feel old; it feels entirely fresh and new.”
Complete with a live orchestra, a talented blend of new and veteran actors and a two-story Victorian cutaway house, “Little Women” is recommended by Humble for the entire family.
“It’s this great journey Jo goes on with her life and it’s wonderful that we see the tragedy and the triumph to-gether,” Humble said. “Every member of the audience can relate to the show because we all deal with the loss of loved ones and we all have dreams of wanting to make something out of ourselves and we want to be remembered for something. The story just draws you in.”
Humble was hand-picked by Ever After producer Jan Daigle. Daigle who moved to Chattanooga from Maine in 2002 is a seasoned stage manager who began managing at The Colonnade in 2005. She recently formed Ever After Productions along with Humble in order to explore the other aspects of theater such as producing. Both Daigle and Humble are very dedicated to making “Little Women” a success for the community and are committed to making The Colonnade a successful venue.
“The Colonnade creates an opportunity for families in north Georgia to get out of the house and do something as a family,” Humble said. “Nowadays people don’t spend enough time as a family, so this is a wonderful, safe envi-ronment with quality shows.”
Ever After has plans for two more productions in 2012. “Honk,” the musical story of the ugly duckling, is sched-uled to hit the stage in June and the musical “Oliver,” is set to run for three weeks in September. This will be Hum-ble’s third direction of “Oliver,” and he admits to having a bit of a soft spot for the show.
“I’ve done ‘Oliver’ at both The Tivoli and The Colonnade,” Humble said, “and it’s one of my favorites. I’m proba-bly most proud of it and enjoyed it the most. It has such a wonderful message of redemption and love and I’m really looking forward to bringing it back again.”
Performances for “Little Women” are March 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. There will be matinees March 10 and 17 at 1 p.m. Ticket prices are: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (age 55 and older), $12 for students, and $11 for groups of 15 or more. Please call 706-935-9000, ext. 103, for more information or visit the website colonnadecenter.org
“Little Women” the musical was written by Allan Knee with lyrics done by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.
264 Catoosa Circle
706-935-9000, ext. 103
March 9, 10, 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee on March 10 &17 at 1 p.m.