Theatre Aspen summer season debuts with a nostalgic production of Little Women

I’ve just returned from the opening night performance of Theatre Aspen’s Little Women. Once again they have hit it out of the park.

It is the Little Women we all know and love, but better, it’s a musical!

Louisa May Alcott’s wonderful story of four sisters coming of age was a significant part of my own coming of age. I was in awe of Jo, the rebel who didn’t care what people thought. My heart broke over Beth, and I dreamed of traveling to Europe like Amy. I had no understanding of “character development” at that age, but when watching Theatre Aspen’s production, directed by Paige Price, I realized how ingrained the characters were in my being—from Marmie, to Professor Bhaer, to Laurie, and Aunt March. It was like they were my family.

This production’s cast is superb. Alison Luff as Jo is tough, yet vulnerable, and ever so talented. Alie Walsh as Beth couldn’t be more perfect. I need to skip the mascara when I go back to see the show again, as she moved me to tears. The other eight cast members all gave excellent and memorable performances.

I took my 9-year-old son to the show. Since he loves the theatre, I didn’t have to drag him there kicking and screaming, but I was still concerned the strong feminine nature of the show might lose him. I was wrong. He loved the show, and I was thrilled to share something with him that had so much meaning for me.

I realized that I don’t do this often enough. Micah has seen Wicked twice, but never the Wizard of Oz. We see movies together, including Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon, but he’s never seen my favorite movies. I forced him to watch a part of the Sound of Music before heading to Salzburg last winter, but I haven’t shared the books, plays, and stories that moved me as a child.

I am grateful to the team at Theatre Aspen for bringing us the world. We don’t have to jump on a plane to NY to see moving performances and share them with loved ones in an intimate setting. I’m thrilled I get to expose my child to this every summer, and I’m thankful for the people with greater financial means than I who allow it all to take place just a five-minute bike ride from home.

I’ve got tickets for the Full Monty next week and can’t wait. If you are in Aspen this summer, make sure at least one of your nights is spent seeing one of Theatre Aspen’s productions.