Orange County Theatre Reviews

 

Written by  Alina Mae Wilson 

It was a short run for the production of Little Women put on by the McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts. Sadly, there will be no more shows.  So I hope I can do the show justice in this article for those who missed a solid rendition of this classic story.

Little Women is the story of the four March sisters, with a special emphasis placed on Jo March, who is on a mission to be “astonishing” instead of being a proper lady. Instead of obsessing over party invitations or what man she will marry, Jo busies herself with writing stories in the hopes that she might one day become a great author. We meet her three sisters, Meg, Beth, and Amy, each in their own way. 

The show was double-cast. I have no trouble believing that the entire cast was required to audition, mainly because of how well the singers did.   I enjoyed Bryndal Braithwaite, who played Jo March the night I attended. Her voice was strong and clear while motivations were evident. One of the most significant challenges for a younger performer is to tell the reasons for action—grabbing the water because they are thirsty instead of holding it because the director said to. Braithwaite’s motivations were visible to the audience, as with most of her cast mates. Additional mention goes to Madison Osment and Riley Pietenpol, who played Beth March and Mr. Laurence, respectively. Their relationship was adorable, with Ms. Osment the picture of vulnerability and Mr. Pietenpol charming the audience with his doddering old man singing during their duet.

This powerful story stressed the importance of sisterhood before Frozen rolled around. I am pretty sure that young men and women can always use a reminder of the importance of familial relationships and furthering one’s intelligence in conjunction with finding the romantic love that is so present in most stories, including Little Women. The music is good, and as stated earlier, it is well-sung. However, this is not a short story and a cartoonish presentation.   The first act has much more energy than the second, which might partly be because the first act features the kids acting as kids. In the second act, the sister’s age, and one of the main characters passes away. Some children might enjoy it, but some might whither away from boredom and be too sad. Know your kid. In any case, this show is a solid testimony to the competence of directors Rachel Green and Sharie Nitkin.

7.8/10

http://mccoyrigbyarts.com/

One Response to Little Women @ Esperanza High School in Anaheim – Review

  1. TJ Koker says:

    I also had the great fortune to view the production. It was mesmerizing to say the least. I don’t know what they are doing at Rigby Arts, whatever it is keep doing it. I hearty agree on the singing as well. Madison Osment’s performance was especially gripping. Actually teared up at her characters death. Been a long time since I was so moved. Kudos.