The best-selling semi-autobiographical tale, written by Alcott, focuses on the four March sisters. “Little Women” centers around a typical American family facing economic hardship and struggling to uphold their values of compassion and tolerance in a country riven by civic and racial conflict. Even though the story first appeared in 1868, there is still contemporary relevance.
The production will feature a rich variety of nineteenth-century songs that bring the era to life. From spirituals to Civil War marches and ballads to popular parlor songs by such well-known tunesmiths as Stephen Collins Foster and even some familiar opera excerpts, the music will transport you to the world of 1860s New England in ear-catching, toe-tapping style.
Leading the cast as the March girls are Shannon O’Rourke (Jo), Jordana Keller (Meg) and Jessie Fairbanks (Beth). Both Madeleine Epstein and Grace Reynolds will share the role of the character Amy during different stages of her life. Alexander Inagamov and Ludovic Coutaud play Laurie and John Brooke, respectively.
Other Gingerbread stalwarts lending their talents are Lauren Snyder Butler as Marmee, Jim Chamberlain as Mr. March, Liz Reynolds as Hannah, David Friedman as Prof. Bhaer, Andrew Dinan as Mr. Laurence, Louise Foisy as Aunt March and Joanna Guinther as Narrator Jo.
The Gingerbread Players have been putting on family-friendly musicals since the company’s inception in 1971.
For “Little Women,” the Gingerbread Players are also welcoming a brand-new music director and accompanist to the company, pianist Lulu Chen. Louise Guinther will direct the play, with set design by Rosemary Favia and period costumes by Joanna Guinther.
Performances are scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m.; Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 29 at 2:30 p.m. The performances will take place at St. Luke’s Church, located on 85 Greenway South, in Forest Hills Gardens.
The Gingerbread Players offers a suggested donation of $15, and a discounted rate of $12 for groups of six or more. For information and reservations, call 718-268-7772, or visit www.gingerbreadplayers.org. The company’s namesake gingerbread cookies and other home-baked goodies will be on sale during intermission.