Review: Local talent shines in
November 7, 2008 | It's a shame every good thing has
to come to an end. The Ellen Eccles Theater recently
finished its run of Little Women, called "A Little
Musical" by local composer Jay Richards, who wrote the
music, lyrics and book for the musical, based on the
beloved novel by Louisa May Alcott. Running nine shows
ending on Oct. 29, the production featured loads of
local talent to delight audiences.
Starring USU alumna Karlee Heaps as the strong-willed
Jo, the story covered about the first half of Alcott's
book, ending with Meg's marriage to Mr. Brooke and a
brief epilogue. All of the characterizations were beautifully
done with no breaks because of dropped lines or missed
cues. The scenery was simple yet lovely and left no
doubt that the audience was supposed to be in 19th-century
America. The orchestra, conducted by Richards, was highly
professional, featuring talented musicians from around
the valley and having only a few, unavoidable "string"
The vocals done by not only the stars but the ensemble
were beautiful and melded almost flawlessly. Stand-out
numbers included Marmee's "My Little Women," a poignant
mother's song about the bittersweet task of watching
one's children grow up, sung tenderly by another USU
alumna, Jennifer Kite-Allsop. Meg and Mr. Brooke's duet,
"All That It Can Be," sung by Taren McKenna and Brady
Allen, was another memorable number. The flagship number,
though, the song that sums up Jo's character and the
driving motive for most of the story of Little Women,
was the inspiring "I Will Fly," sung both in the first
act and as part of the finale.
Overall, this was a fantastic production and a reason
to be proud of the talent within out little community.
My only real problem with the production was that once
again, Jo turned down Laurie (and they're so perfect
for each other), but that's really more of a beef I
have with Alcott than Richards or any of the performers.