Sunday, May 8, 2011

Little Women

The March girls with their Marmee

The Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, Pa, concludes its regular 2010-2011 season with the Broadway musical, Little Women.  The all star cast features several award winning actors in addition to some Broadway performers. Their experience and expertise work to form an ensemble cast that succeeds in projecting a family image. Jennie Eisenhower, who plays Jo March, wows the audience with the breadth of her voice. She is almost constantly on stage and is able to project a wide range of emotions as the oldest March sister who is independent, and, as a symbol of hope, is determined to make her own way in the world. Kara Dombrowski, in the role of younger sister Amy, has a smaller, but equally demanding part. She begins the play as a young impetuous girl and ends the play as a sophisticated young woman. Both Stephen Schellhardt as Laurie Laurence and Michael Sharon as Professor Bhaer do an excellent job in their roles as foils for Jo. Very cleverly staged, Jo frequently reads the short stories she is trying to get published while characters dramatize the action on the side of the stage. Her enthusiasm is contagious and the audience is with her 100%. Many story lines have a character that everyone loves to hate, and Cathy Newman, as Aunt March plays the role brilliantly with her stern demeanor and her insistence on “proper etiquette.” Special mention must go to costume designer Millie Hiibel for the authentic Civil War period costumes and to set Designer Roman Tatarowicz for creating such an effective set that enables the audience to literally go three places within a period of seconds. A sliding screen fence opens and closes to reveal two sets that rotate on a circular device. While actors are on stage in one, the other can be changed before it rotates to the front. To see a charming musical with wonderful voices and strong ensemble acting, head out to BRT by May 22. For tickets or further information, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at

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