Review: Little Women: The Broadway Musical

BY: Michael Woody
last updated 02/24/2023
Review: Little Women: The Broadway Musical

Mike Woody reviews 'Little Women: The Broadway Musical' now at La Comedia Dinner Theatre though March 26.

Review: Little Women: The Broadway Musical

Whenever there is four or more females together, especially sisters, there’s guaranteed to be drama. No comment on if the March siblings are in their prime, but they cause plenty of emotionally engaging happenings throughout ‘Little Women: The Broadway Musical.’ While some slight differences do exist between the book/movies and this staged version, other than randomly breaking out in song, the characters remain their core selves. A superb cast, a top-notch set, and lavish costumes all combine to make the La Comedia debut of ‘Little Women’ an instant classic.

Leading the way is Kayla Stroud as Jo. It’s safe to say, Stroud’s voice is in its prime, as it can’t possibly get any better. She’s equally as pleasing to watch on stage as to listen to, excelling on all levels. Hearing Stroud’s voice is comparable to an OMG moment, or as Jo says, ‘Christopher Columbus.’ The utterance provides several moments of comedic relief. An aspiring novelist, a pair of Jo’s stories are acted out on stage, providing a fun escape.

Beth, a piano player, is portrayed by the always delightful Allison Gabert. She not only tickles the ivories but also pulls the heartstrings due to a battle with a serious illness. The oldest sister, Meg (Catie Cumings) is a role model to her siblings. The youngest one…in curls, Amy (Gracie Adkins), breaks the family’s unity by traveling abroad. She does eventually return, with a surprise!

Among the show’s highlights is the amazing voice of Marmee (Angela Allen). You’ll be saying, ‘Christopher Columbus,’ as Allen’s voice is a discovery of historic proportions. It’s no wonder the March sisters all sing beautifully, it’s in their genes…or their dresses. 

The strong supporting cast also features Bobby Montaniz as Professor Bhaer, who possesses a magnetizing charisma. Though I have no interest in furthering my education, I’d sign up for whatever the professor is teaching. The shows only flaw is that Montaniz should have been used more. The scenes he shares with Jo are among the best, particularly in the second act.

The character of Laurie (Elliot Handkins) is determined to marry one of the March sisters, even willing to try pursuing more than one. His voice is also a standout. Originally a grumpy old neighbor, Mr. Laurence (David Shough) proves to be not so bad. Shough brings a high level of dignity to the role. The leading lady of La Comedia, Karie-Lee Sutherland brings excellence to every role she fills, including as Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk in this production. Last but certainly not least, Tyler Kirk is impressive as John Brooke.

The set design is state of the art, including a screen that’s used masterfully. There’s much to enjoy about ‘Little Women: The Broadway Musical’ no matter how familiar you are with the story. Anyone who misses it will angrily mutter to themselves, ‘Christopher Columbus.’ 

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