This version of the 1868 Louisa May Alcott novel of New England sisters in Civil War times has been in the works for the past five years. Since 2001, director Susan H. Schulman (The Secret Garden, The Sound of Music) has been attached as director. Allan Knee (Syncopation) penned the book, and the score is by Jason Howland (music) and Mindi Dickstein (lyrics).
Producers are Randall Wreghitt (who also still has the play, Paper Doll, on his plate), Dani Davis, Ken Gentry and Rodger Hess. Wreghitt told Playbill On-Line he's aiming Little Women toward Broadway for spring 2004. Another engagement out of town is not out of the question, he said. The Shubert in New Haven hosts the March 12-21, 2004, run.
Michael Lichtefeld is choreographing.
Industry folk recall that another songwriting team (Kim Oler and Allison Hubbard) was attached at the beginning. Their work on it was seen in at least one public reading in New York City. Oler and Hubbard are now working on a musical version of The Enchanted Cottage.
* The property had a sold-out, February workshop run at Durham, North Carolina's Duke University in 2001.
Kerry O'Malley, a Duke alumnus, played Jo in the NC mounting of the show. She, Robert Bartley (as John Brooke), Megan McGinnis (as Beth), Joe Machota (as Laurie) and Robert Stattel (as Mr. Laurence) all also participated in April 6-8, 2001, readings of the piece. Among those involved in the show in the past are Jennifer Gambatese, Becky Watson, Jan Maxwell, John Dossett, Allen Fitzpatrick, Catherine Brunnel, Mary Gordon Murray, Rachel Hardin and Rita Gardner.
At Duke, Little Women was directed by Nick Corley and choreographed by Jennifer Paulson Lee.
Producer Rodger Hess also has the play, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks on his agenda. He said the two hander by Richard Alfieri will bow on Broadway in fall 2003.