"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Surely everyone -- or at the very least every girl and woman -- knows the first line of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott's Civil War-era classic of four sisters who find maturity and romance. And almost as many people can picture Katharine Hepburn wearing a long fall and looking oh-so-Hollywood glamorous as she uttered those immortal words in the 1933 George Cukor film.
And now Shelley Long is following in the footsteps of Hepburn, June Allyson and Winona Ryder. She is set to perform the role of the high-spirited writer Jo March -- not on the silver screen but for the California Artists Radio Theatre production of Little Women, which is being presented for two performances only on Dec. 20 and 21 in Los Angeles.
The adaptation is by Peggy Webster, and the cast is chock full of character actors from stage and TV including Nancy Cartwright as Beth, Bairbre Dowling as Meg, Beverly Garland as Marmee and William Windom as Mr. Lawrence.
Performances of Little Women are Saturday, Dec. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 21 at the Cinegrill of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd. A $15 donation is requested. For information, call (213) 683-3422. -- By Rebecca Paller