Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women is an American literary classic, and thanks to Theatreworks, it’s received a bright, vibrant revival at the Ent Center for the Arts. Directed by Kathryn Walsh, the new play is based on Kate Hamill’s 2018 stage adaptation, telling the story of the four March sisters — Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy — as they grow into adulthood, pushed into the roles that mid-19th century society has carved out for them.
Little Women effortlessly weaves humor with drama, punctuating emotional moments with stray jokes and gags. Unlike traditional portrayals, this cast is culturally diverse. Performances are playful and comedic with Jaine Ye nearly stealing the show early on as the bratty Amy. Cheerish Martin provides the oldest Meg with an ordered maturity and loud squawks of protest, while the small and silent Beth (Kaley Corinaldi) is the family fixer working behind the scenes. Their mother, the warm and kind Marmee (Lynne Hastines), doesn’t seem to mind their antics. Players Jane Fromme and Tom Paradise take up multiple secondary roles, as does Sean Verdu, who portrays the gentleman tutor Mr. Brooks as well as a loud, memetic parrot.
Just as the original novel arrived in two parts, each half of this show starts with the cast posing for a portrait. The intermission’s time jump highlights how much these sisters grow, change, get married, have children and otherwise adjust to becoming women.
Little Women is a welcome retreat. There’s playful swordplay and amazing costumes. The characters share a camaraderie with dialogue that’s both naturalistic and a tribute to the novel’s original prose. It’s a glimpse into a world that’s both old and still remarkably relevant if you peer just a little closer. As adults, these characters have to adult. They have cultural and societal conventions to conform to that are almost entirely out of their hands. Jo, the rebel playwright with boyish charms and motivations, is a dysphoric character that can still speak to so many today, far beyond the book’s Civil War setting.
If You want to kick off your holiday celebration early (Dec. 10), simply (one showing) and maturely (R-rated), then the Modbo Ho Ho is probably for you! Advising you to keep the kids at home for this long-running tradition, the Modbo Ho Ho promises a fun time at its new venue, the Millibo Art Theatre. Organizers say they’ll be sure to “make you laugh with lots of tawdry songs, a few dances, some brief moments of holiday earnestness, and perhaps even a special appearance from a rather… self-expressed Santa.” Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., visit tinyurl.com/ModboHoHo.
Pitched as a Dickensian double-header with Derby Past and Derby Future, Pikes Peak Roller Derby presents their final games at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium before the venue closes for renovation. The first game, featuring the Junior Roller Derby, starts at 6 p.m., followed by the adult game at 7 p.m. Be sure to wear holiday costumes and bring holiday cheer as the derbies “wreck the halls” at City Aud one last time. Colorado Springs City Aud, 221 E. Kiowa St., Dec. 10, 5-8 p.m.; tickets $10 pre-sale/$15 at the door; see tinyurl.com/DerbyPastVsDerbyFuture for more info.