The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title Little Women
Organization William Jessup University
Date(s) of show April 27, 2014
Reviewer Letha Dawson
Review William Jessup University, in its first theatrical production, brought Little Women, the musical, to life with verve and spunk, to the delight of a packed audience Sunday afternoon. Little Women, a story of four girls on the verge of womanhood, book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and music by Jason Howland, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, brims with strong vocalists – vocalists an audience can love. Musical Director, Amy Malekos selected singers whose voices were perfect for their parts, dressed in period costumes from the 1860’s. Directed and choreographed by Derek Martin, Little Women moved along at a trot as excited sisters and young men are thrilled to do.

Singing over recorded music supplied by Music Theatre International, every vocalist delivered an outstanding performance. Each voice was right for his or her character’s part. William Jessup University has an outstanding group of talented students this year. Kayla Krogh, as Jo, the older sister, is a stand-alone star. Her clear voice, exactly enunciated words, and facial expressions revealing every emotion a New England girl feels when she yearns for New York and publishers who will applaud her writing, is completely convincing in the role of Jo. Amanda Duisenberg, playing Meg, brings absolute beauty to the music, and a sweetness of character that comes from within. Pulling from the professional music world, Amy Malekos brought in Tamra Rogers to sing Marmee’s part and Elizabeth Stanley, Aunt March. What great vocalists they are. Tamra Rogers with sweet sensitivity and a voice of satin, brings forth the motherly love of her character; while Elizabeth Stanley, in a strong alto, communicates the no-nonsense authority of the elder aunt. Kelly Dunn, another excellent vocalist, dances and tumbles and leaps, and still sings with energy to spare. Brett Patterson, playing Laurie, the neighbor’s son, with his wonderful, strong tenor voice, acted his part as determined boyfriend with humor and lightness. All the singers were delightful to listen to, are extremely talented and were convincing in their roles: Allison Coupe, as Beth; Lexi Ivey, as Mrs. Kirk; Robi Quick, as Professor Bhaer; and Ken Duisenberg, Mr. Laurence. Well done, William Jessup University Creative Arts Department! Theatre audiences will be looking forward to more great theatre.

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