The dates of Dec. 10 (first preview) and Jan. 20, 2005 (opening) were previously announced, but it was not known until late July 27 that the Virginia would be the nest for the brood of New England siblings (including Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as Jo March) and their cherished mother, Marmee (played by Maureen McGovern).
Producers of Little Shop of Horrors told their cast July 27 that the show would close by late August. Depending on the still-forming technical schedule, Little Women will start previews on or about Dec. 10, producer Dani Davis told Playbill On-Line.
The family-friendly Little Women should enjoy a healthy burst of business during the busy holiday period, when warm, wholesome shows are especially welcomed by theatregoers. The musical, like the book, has a Christmas sequence in which the sisters put on a theatrical show. In the new Broadway musical, the sequence is called "The Operatic Tragedy" and is staged for all of Concord, MA.
Little Women was heard in recent spring industry presentations in Manhattan in anticipation of its fall 2004 tryout and debut at Theatre Previews at Duke in Durham, NC, Oct. 13-31.
The show will be directed by Susan H. Schulman (The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, Violet). The musical, like the book, is set in Civil War era New England. Little Women has a libretto by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein.
Producers are Randall L.Wreghitt, Dani Davis, Ken Gentry, Chase Mishkin , Ruben Brache in association with Theatre Previews at Duke (Zannie Voss, Director) and Lisa Vioni.
Rehearsals begin Sept. 7. The Duke University run is in the Reynolds Theatre. Visit http://www.duke.edu/web/drama/ for more information.
Little Women is an American literary title so obvious that it's a surprise that a musical version hasn't hit big on Broadway yet. (A search of the internet reveals a number of musical versions of the property, which is in the public domain and therefore ripe for free picking by playwrights and songwriters.)
In addition to famed singer-actress McGovern (known for pop hits, concerts, musicals and studio-cast recordings of Of Thee I Sing and Let 'Em Eat Cake), the Little Women company will include Megan McGinnis as Beth and Amy McAlexander as Amy, Robert Stattel, Danny Gurwin, Janet Carroll, Jim Weitzer and John Hickok.
Michael Lichtefeld is choreographer, Andrew Wilder is musical director, orchestrations are by Kim Scharnberg. Designers are Derek McLane (set), Catherine Zuber (costume), David Lander (lighting) and Peter Hylenski (sound).
Capitalization for Little Women is $5.6 million.