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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treat for Young and Old, the Old Fashioned Way
I just saw "Little Women" last night in Boston, at the Opera House, an incredible theatre, built in the 1920's, and judging by the audience's reaction, this terrific show will do MUCH better on the road than it did on Broadway, where it was unfairly ripped by the NY Times critic, Ben Brantley, and didn't get the attention and respect it deserved. Simply put, the music is...
Published on January 11, 2006 by Matthew J. Gallagher

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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, but predictable
"Little Women" is the kind of score that on your first listen sounds like you heard it before. There's an immediate familiarity about it, and the music by Jason Howland reminded me more than a little of the scores of "Jane Eyre," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and others. The second act opening, in which the characters enact one of Jo March's stories, is even reminiscent of...
Published on May 7, 2005 by Steven Valenti


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treat for Young and Old, the Old Fashioned Way, January 11, 2006
By 
Matthew J. Gallagher (Wilton, Connecticut United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
I just saw "Little Women" last night in Boston, at the Opera House, an incredible theatre, built in the 1920's, and judging by the audience's reaction, this terrific show will do MUCH better on the road than it did on Broadway, where it was unfairly ripped by the NY Times critic, Ben Brantley, and didn't get the attention and respect it deserved. Simply put, the music is wonderful, overall, with several standout numbers, including "Days of Plenty," "Some Things Are Meant to Me," and "Astonishing." The wonderful number, at the beginning, which binds the four sisters together, "Our Finest Dreams," is lovely and spirited. It is very difficult to take a classic book and make it into a musical. Certainly some of the depth of the characters is taken out, but enough is there to carry the story across and, what's more, at the show I attended, there were MANY teens and children in the audience, as the theatre offered a free child's ticket for every adult ticket bought - and what struck me was how beautiful this story is about female empowerment - and sisterhood. Every time the sisters seem to be coming apart, they remind each other of their love and support for each other. What a courageous, wonderful message! The mother, played beautifully by Maureen McGovern, is instrumental in keeping home and hearth together while the girls' father is away at war. And with a REAL war going on in Iraq, this production was that much more moving. I disagree with many of the negative comments - the music and lyrics are of high quality, often moving, sincere, literate, and emotional. This may not be Rodgers and Hammerstein, but what is these days?

This is closer to an old-fashioned musical than many - and it has heart and class. It certainly is better than something like "Hello, Dolly!" which really is a bogus story with only a couple of decent songs. Here, you have an involving story, with a terrific protagonist in Jo, surrounded by other compelling characters, and a whole world brought to life (the production I saw had stunning sets, costumes, and lighting), with passion and clarity. The fact that I saw "Little Women" in Boston, just a stone's throw away from Concord, where Louisa May Alcott actually lived - and where her home is preserved - may have had something to do with the overwhelmingly positive reaction I had to this fine production, but listen for yourself. The music and lyrics are hopeful and moving - it's a story for our times that reminds us of innocence, sacrifice, and good morals. It's a GREAT show for the entire family - and says something to young girls that is positive and life affirming. It is about all the things that really matter in life and it's certainly worth a few dollars - a bargain, if you ask me - to listen to this fine CD. The better thing is to catch the show on tour, where I predict it will have great success. You won't be disappointed!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Musical Theatre!, May 25, 2005
By 
Mrs C. Ivanoff (Adelaide, SA, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
Being a big fan of L.M. Alcott's classic I was sceptical about this CD. Also not having seen the show I was taking a chance buying it. I am sure glad I did. From the moment the music started playing I felt such a connection to it. And overwhelming emotion! By the time I got to "Some things were meant to be" I was sobbing and continued all through the very poignant "Days of Plenty".

There is such delight in being reminded of childhood dreams and family togetherness, that our fast-paced lives sometimes forget. I don't believe Ms Alcott would be spinning in her grave at all. I bet she is thrilled that the Marchs' has been brought to life for another generation to discover and enjoy. It might be a story set in a different time........but the themes and emotions are timeless.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant, but predictable, May 7, 2005
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
"Little Women" is the kind of score that on your first listen sounds like you heard it before. There's an immediate familiarity about it, and the music by Jason Howland reminded me more than a little of the scores of "Jane Eyre," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and others. The second act opening, in which the characters enact one of Jo March's stories, is even reminiscent of the second act opening of "Kiss of the Spider Woman." I kept getting a sense of déjà vu.

Still, after a few listens, it starts to distinguish itself just enough, and it's quite good overall. There are some attractive melodies, playful ensemble numbers, and even a pop-flavored power ballad or two. It's all put over by a strong cast, especially Sutton Foster as feisty Jo and Maureen McGovern as Marmee. They're also aided by a larger than usual orchestra that gives the recording a lush sound. Some of the highlights of the score include the solid numbers "Take A Chance On Me," "Five Forever," "Astonishing," and "Some Things Are Meant To Be."

As with all musical adaptations of classic works of literature, the story is greatly condensed, but based on the recording, it seems like the important points are covered well. Ultimately, though, there's just this feeling of predictability to it all, as if this is exactly what you would expect a musical version of "Little Women" to sound like. Still, it's a pleasant score, with some good performances, and this is a well produced recording.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadway's new doll exceeds expectations once more, May 5, 2005
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
After several listens, Little Women is nothing short of...well...astonishing, as the illustrious Sutton Foster, playing the leading role of Jo, belts out in the track of the same name. Louisa May Alcott's story is brought to heartfelt and charming life by a tremendous cast and the music of newcomer Jason Howland, who's craft is surprisingly fine-tuned and lurid in this, one of the few new bright spots on Broadway this year.

Taking a piece of classic literature and turning it into a show-stopping live performance is certainly an amibitious undertaking. With such high expectations, it had to have been a simple dicision to cast Sutton Foster, Broadway's new darling and Tony-winner from Thoroughly Modern Millie, in the leading role along with veterans such as Danny Gurwin and Maureen McGovern. Though the cast album certainly has its fair share of obvious filler, it helps that every time Foster opens her mouth, she practically erupts from the stage (or from your speakers) causing her audience to swoon. In fact, the largest problem with the musical itself is that there just isn't enough of it here.

Fortunately, what is here is musical genius, at least insofar as Broadway has seen in the past year or more. As far as the music itself goes, think the powerful numbers from Boublil and Schonberg's Martin Guerre combined with the charm, compassion and gusto of Wicked. While there certainly could have been more music tacked onto the end of the album as opposed to the brief and quippy orchestral numbers that were obviously placed there only to fill track space, it is decidedly refreshing to hear a new musical that can at least come close to meeting the expectations of something with the slightest bit of ambition.

With Broadway's recent track record for allowing clever little musical comedies such as Hairspray to take the coveted Tony Awards for Best New Musical from the likes of shows like Schwartz's Wicked or Brown's Parade, it will be a tough task for Little Women to defy custom and beat out the hyperbolic Spamalot in June, but if any show has the chance, this will be the one. Truly astonishing.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITTLE WOMEN CD IS ASTONISHING!, May 3, 2005
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
This is a superb recording of music from the Broadway show, "Little Women", produced by Grammy award-winner Joel Moss along with the musical's composer, Jason Howland, and orchestrator, Kim Scharnberg. The music is wonderful from start to finish. Unlike many Broadway shows these days, this is an entirely acoustic score -- no synthesizers. The music and lyrics range from emotional to comic. The beautiful orchestrations earned Kim Scharnberg a Drama Desk nomination for Best Orchestrations.

Highlights of the CD include Sutton Foster's first act closer, "Astonishing", Maureen McGovern's "Days of Plenty", and John Hickok's "How I Am". But, don't overlook the wonderful duets, such as Jenny Powers and Jim Weitzer signing "More Than I Am", Janet Carroll and Sutton Foster signing "Could You?", Megan McGinnis and Robert Stattel singing "Off to Massachusetts" and Amy McAlexander and Danny Gurwin singing "The Most Amazing Thing". "Some Things Are Meant to Be" is as powerful on the CD as it is during the show.

If you've seen the show, you will definitely want the CD. If you haven't seen this wonderful musical, the CD is the next best thing. Buy it!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Things Are Meant to Be, May 3, 2005
By 
Kat (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
Little Women the Musical is, absolutely, "Some Things Are Meant to Be." Each song is full of energy and fun, and it's absolutely what I'd call a "true musical." A fantastic band without synthesisers or pop-style voices! Sutton Foster is amazing as the energetic and hopeful Jo, and Maureen McGovern as Marmee is another amazing voice. Megan McGinnis is a hidden jewel as the sweet Beth, with the most amazing voice! Some Things Are Meant to Be is an amazing duet with Foster and McGinnis, but there's really no bad song on the CD. No bad singers, either! A rare treat in this day and age. Some of the "better" songs are "Better," "Astonishing" (both songs that Jo shows off her range in), "Could You" and "I'd Be Delighted" (Both fun and full of exciting energy!!), and the breathtakingly beautiful "Some Things Are Meant to Be." Every song holds a ton of emotion, and there really is something for everyone on this amazing cast album.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Astonishing!, May 14, 2005
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
When I first heard that Little Woman was going to be made into a musical I was really excited. I bought the album the day it came out and received it the next day. Whne I first listened to it, I must say I was disapointed. I thought it was just plain boring, so I put it away for a week. Then, I decided to give it a second chance, so I listened to the whole thing through. I was suprised when I ended up liking a few of the songs. After listening to it a few more times, I ended up liking even more of the songs. And as I continue to listen to it, I fall in love with another song each time. Those who write terrible reviews for this CD obviously are closed-minded people who expect to be blown-away the first time they listen to it. Well, unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Not every show can be as big as Wicked(and even in that CD, some songs take mutiple listenings before you like them.) Soms shows are a bit more quiet, but that doesn't mean it's any less amazing.

The songs on this CD are amazing. My two favorties are the nothing-less-than inspirational and powerful "Astonishing" and the heartfelt sisterly song "Some Things are Meant to Be". So many of the songs are wonderfully witty such as "Take a Chance on Me", "Better", "Could You?" and the touching "Small Umbrella in the Rain." And of course there are Marmee's two tearjerkers "Here Alone" and "Days of Plenty". Then, there's songs that just make you smile such as "I'd Be Delighted", "Five Forever", and "The Weekly Volcano Press". And then, there's a song that makes you want to get up and sing "The Fire Within Me." "Off to Massachusetts" is a song that NEVER gets out of your head.

The singers sing beautifully. Period. Maureen McGovern and Sutton Foster have powerful voices, but that's a given. Amy McAlexander as "Amy" has a cute voice that fits her character well. Megan McGinnis as "Beth" really does have the voice of an angel and her voice makes you want to sob in "Some Things are Meant to Be". Jenny Powers as "Meg" has a soothing voice fit for the oldest March sister.

All in all, this CD is fabulous! It's definitely worth buying!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "take a chance on.." this cd!, May 6, 2005
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
I have read all the reviews on this cd, and I can not understand how people find this music forgettable. I saw the show on broadway in march and fell in love with it! My favorite song...that no one has mentioned at all...is the song laurie sings to Jo. "take a chance on me!' i love the music in that..with all the brass..i just love it. as i love all the songs on this cd. it is a wonderful show with great music and an equally great cast! take a chance...and buy this album!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Words, May 3, 2005
By 
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
I LOVE IT . . . it is one of the best broadway shows out there and this cd is absolutly amazing. Buy it and see for your self. The songs are catchy and you will be singing them for days. I know i have. So I must say again . . . I LOVE IT!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasureable Listening for any Broadway Fan, July 25, 2005
By 
C. Shook "msshrink" (Pawcatuck, CT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Women The Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Audio CD)
Luckily, I did have the pleasure of seeing Little Women on Broadway back in March, 2005, and was one of the lucky folks to get a photo taken with Maureen McGovern as part of "Broadway Cares", so I suppose that makes me a bit biased. I have always loved the Louisa May Alcott story this is derived from and found the play to be entertaining, moving and poignant, especially when Maureen McGovern stops the show with "Fields of Plenty", a ballad of a mother's devotion to her dying daughter, Beth.

On the lighter side, there is the maniacal Jo, played by Sutton Foster, with energy and dreams to burn. I was not bowled over by Ms. Foster's voice, in fact it was somewhat ordinary, but, in her two recent most starring roles (previously in Thoroughly Modern Millie and now as Jo), her singing voice did not need to be her forte - her youthful spirit is what stands out most of all, and she keeps you laughing with her typical Jo-like expressions and passion to be a writer. As an ensemble, everyone performs with finesse and verve for a show that made its debut at a time when Wicked and Spamalot were slamming the competition. "Little Women" is the little show that could...and did...win me over, as will the soundtrack for anyone who have missed its Broadway run.
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