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  Little Women at Circle Theatre

Little Women

Circle Theatre
1540 W North Ave Chicago

With their father serving as a chaplain in the Civil War, The March daughters grow up under the care of their mother in somewhat trying circumstances. Through trials and tribulations the sisters learn time and again that the love within their family is superior to material wealth. They persevere through squabbles and tragedies, but the bond only strengthens as marriages and new families emerge. This heart-warming tale of the endurance of family is perfect for the holidays and beyond. Circle's new adaptation will focus on the first part of the classic American novel, telling the story of a year in the life-- from Christmas to Christmas-- of the March sisters.

Thru - Jan 24, 2010

Price: $20-$24

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-904-8756

Running Time: 2hrs 15mins; one intermission

  Little Women Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Talk about a confident production. No fireworks, no flash, no details juiced for dramatic effect. The actors are left to do their thing, led by Kieran Welsh-Phillips as the charismatic Jo and the soothing presence of Anita Hoffman's level-headed Marmee. That's probably the right approach, with the material's focus on hearth and home."
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Nina Metz

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...At Forest Park's Circle Theatre, director-designer Bob Knuth has collaborated with Rani Blair-O'Brien on a new stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." This "play with music" (and it contains far too little of the latter) is serviceable but hardly inspired. And watching the production -- which is only on a decent college level -- I kept wondering why Circle, which invariably excels at full-fledged musicals, didn't stage the beautiful 2005 Broadway show that proved a major hit at Marriott Theatre a few seasons back."
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Hedy Weiss

Pioneer Press - Highly Recommended

"...Over the years, Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel, "Little Women," has transitioned into a number of different formats: play, musical, opera and film. Now Circle Theatre brings to its stage a fine new version of the enduring classic, adapted and directed by Bob Knuth."
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Tom Witom

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...This version of Louisa May Alcott's classic story, about four sisters growing up in Civil War America, has a lot going for it. The performances are lively. Laura McClain and Kieran Welsh Phillips are marvelous as Meg and Jo, the older sisters at the center of the story. And the overall production, directed by Bob Knuth, has the pleasing look of a Merchant/Ivory period movie--an effect enhanced by Knuth's well-designed set and carefully balanced stage pictures, as well as Patti Roeder's authentic-looking costumes."
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Jack Helbig

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...the challenge for any stage adaptation is to keep it interesting. Adapted ( and directed and designed ) by Bob Knuth, Circle Theatre's new version is about half way there with most of the problems in Act I. At 90 minutes, it's too long and also is highly episodic with too many scenes of self-contained incidents that don't contribute to a longer story arc. Subtitled "A Play with Music," this version uses mid-1800's Christmas and secular songs to bridge the many scenes, with a few sung by the cast. The music provides atmosphere but isn't intrinsic to the story, although there may be ways to integrate more diverse period music."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Wednesday Journal - Highly Recommended

"...Adapted by Bob Knuth and Rani Blair-O'Brien from Alcott's largely autobiographical novel, this episodic play is ideally suited for the holiday season with its celebration of family solidarity. It shows how siblings with genuine love and compassion deal with some tough complications in their lives. Though they have their occasional squabbles, the four girls of the March family honor each other's quirks and rally together in times of need."
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Doug Deuchler

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"... Kieran Welsh-Phillips stands out as Jo, the tomboy sister who grows with each family trial, while Laura McClain shines as the prim, fragile Meg. Jeremy Myers livens up the action as the affably quirky neighbor Laurie, and the soulful Anita Hoffman seems to soothe everyone in her presence as the stoic matriarch, Marmee. The script presents some problematic leaps in time (including the fastest offstage lake accident and rescue ever), and the cast isn’t always believable during the tragic moments. But Circle’s Little Women makes for an effective family offering during another wartime holiday season."
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Ali Weiss

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Little Woman plays as a tribute to the human spirit and the sanctity of the family. It is a feel-good show that is a family and holiday friendly fare. Kieran Walsh-Phillips as Jo and Jeremy Myers as Laurie were particularly terrific."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...At last, something new and different for the holiday season! A new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" has just had its World Premiere in the lovely little Circle Theater in the enchanting town of Forest Park. This particular adaptation is called "Little Women, a play with music part one" so as not to be confused with the musical version that played on Broadway and at The Marriott Theatre in Lincolshire. It is adapted and directed by Bob Knuth, who appears to be a man who can do everything. He also did the set design, a marvelous piece of work, as well as the lighting. This is a wonderful production that relates the story that Alcott tells of the March Family during the years 1862-1864."

Al Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...Circle Theatre offers another quality production of classic literature with their world premiere adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. This story is perfect for the holiday season and entertaining anytime of the year. The unselfish themes of giving and love along with warm naturally occurring musicals scenes create a performance that can be enjoyed by the whole family, as well as those other singles out there."

Timothy McGuire

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   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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