Ready to Astonish, Little Women Tour Has Its Jo and Laurie

News   Ready to Astonish, Little Women Tour Has Its Jo and Laurie
Kate Fisher and Stephen Brian Patterson, both seen in Broadway's Les Misérables, will play Jo March and the boy next door, Laurie, respectively, in the national tour of Little Women-The Musical.
Kate Fisher and Stephen Brian Patterson
Kate Fisher and Stephen Brian Patterson

The July 14 casting announcement completes the cast of the company that will launch the tour at San Diego's Civic Theatre on Aug. 30.

Maureen McGovern headlines the tour, reprising her Broadway role of New England matriarch Marmee. She was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her steely yet warm performance as a mother raising daughters in a time of uncertainty.

The Civil War-era sisters of feisty heroine Jo March will be Renee Brna as Meg; Autumn Hurlbert as Beth; and Gwen Hollander as Amy.

Michael Minarik will be romantic suitor John Brooke; Andrew Varela, a Little Women Broadway understudy, will graduate to the role of Prof. Bhaer; and Robert Stattel will repeat his Broadway role of gruff neighbor Mr. Laurence.

Aunt March will be played by Louisa Flaningam. A 30-city tour is planned, with San Jose, Columbus, Chicago, Atlanta, Birmingham, Ft. Lauderdale and at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center among announced dates.

"We are thrilled that the show is going on tour so soon after its Broadway premiere," producer Ken Gentry said in a statement. "We think the positive audience response the show generates and the well-known and recognizable title make this a must-see on the road."

The tour is produced by Ken Gentry in partnership with Randall L. Wreghitt and Dani Davis.

Little Women-The Musical opened on Broadway Jan. 23 following previews from Dec. 7, 2004. It closed May 22, 2005. Sutton Foster was nominated for a Best Actress (Musical) Tony Award for her work as Jo in the show inspired by the novel by Louisa May Alcott.

The show had a fall 2004 test run at Theatre Previews at Duke in North Carolina.

Stage, concert and recording star McGovern has starred on Broadway in The Pirates of Penzance, Nine and 3 Penny Opera , and in the Broadway national tour of The King and I . Her regional work includes Elegies, Dear World, Letters From 'Nam, The Lion in Winter, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Of Thee I Sing, Let 'Em Eat Cake!, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls and I Do, I Do.

Susan H. Schulman directs the musical, which has a book by Allan Knee, score by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Michael Lichtefeld choreographs.

A cast album on the Ghostlight label is in stores now.

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