Little Women makes a big musical impact

December 22, 2010, 11:07 PM HST · Updated December 22, 11:57 AM
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by Maesyn

The time-worn story of Little Women is one that has been passed down by grandmothers at Christmas time.

The story of Christmas, love, laughter and self-improvement comes to life this holiday season as the Hana Arts and Theatrical Players present the Broadway musical version of Louisa May Alcott’s children’s classic, “Little Women.”

The show runs December 28-30 at the Wananalua Church in Hana. It is located at 10 Hauoli Rd, in Hana. This New-England style church was constructed by missionaries in 1838. The building was constructed of lava on top of a sacred Hawaiian temple site in an attempt to crush native Hawaiian religious celebration. The church interior is covered in lustrous panelling of exquisite Koa wood.

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Little Women tells the story of Jo (autobiographically based on Alcott herself), a young aspiring writer, and her journey through early adolescence during wartime years. Her family struggles with poverty during a cold winter season while her father is away at war.

Jo, a writer, entertains her sisters with stories of wild adventure and love. They begin to grow apart as they age and are forced to struggle with their individual character flaws as they turn from girls to women. Gentle conflict ensues between each of the sisters, their lovers, and their maternal figures, as they struggle to grow.

Set in Concord, Massachussets, the story portrays the life and times of the colonial era. The musical balances the social commentary about the limitations on women’s freedom and social injustice, with comical portrayal of heart-wrenching situations.

Six generations after its publication, “Little Women” is still one of the most popular books for youth, but its message echoes strong for readers and viewers of all ages. The timeless moral lessons it contains are shared through wit and humor, clever storytelling, tales of romance and desire, and lessons of inspiration.

Especially since many of Hawaii’s holiday residents are far from their families, what could be better than an entertaining evening with the musical version of this family holiday heart warmer.

One example of the story’s adventurous holiday humor is when Jo’s family doesn’t have money for a Christmas tree, she cuts one down from her wealthy neighbor’s manicured lawn.

The book was first turned into a musical in 2005 with music by Jason Howland, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. It had a 137-performance opening run in its first year.

Though little known, it has received critical acclaim on Broadway, and has been popping up around the world ever since in community productions and touring companies.

Despite Hana’s small population, their community is full to overflowing with talent, as evidenced by the weekly Cafe Attitude that boasts the world’s finest poets, musicians, orators and chefs. With great inspiration, the troupe consistently creates heart centered productions of world class caliber.

The Hana Arts and Theatrical Players have put on a string of successful shows, including a recent sold out run of Guys and Dolls. Little Women’s 20 songs just keep spiraling the magical jungle musical repertoire up and up.

The cast stars Kelly Kristofferson as Jo. Her mother is played by Joyce Mitchell-Mynar, who is the co-director, along with Linda Enriquez Meyer as Aunt March.

The show runs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Tickets cost $15, $25, & $50.

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