Show builds from the beginning

February 9, 2013

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Throughout history women have exhibited strength.

In the Granbury Theatre Company’s latest production, “Little Women,” four sisters and their mother rely on the strength of each other to get by.

Jo (Daron Cockerell) longs to be a writer, Meg (Ashley Blaine) is thrilled with marriage and motherhood (she’s also the oldest), Beth (Sydney Abbott) dreams of being a famous pianist, and young Amy (Taylor O’Toole finds herself the socialite of the group.

And they all find comfort in the arms of their beloved Marmee (Caitlan Leblo).

With their father away at war, the four sisters make a promise to always be there for each other. Amidst that bond, however, life moves on, people fall in love, they travel, and they even die.

The chemistry of the cast is solid, particularly among the four sisters. Their warmth is sincere, as is their heartbreak, just as it would be in any real family.

Cockerell plays Jo, the show’s central figure, with a ferocity. She’s independent, strong, and yet ready to fall in love even though she doesn’t realize it for much of the show.

That is one of the beautiful elements of this show and others of its type, it was set in a day when people dared to fall in love. While Jo feels love will interfere with her plans, even she eventually becomes a willing participant.

As a whole, however, and unlike the society of today, people then sought out love. Meg and Amy, for example, welcome it with open arms.

It’s a pleasure to see Cooper Dodd back onstage as Mr. Brooke, Meg’s husband. After seeing him in eight shows at the Opera House, his talents were sorely missed and I hope to see him in more GTC productions.

Also strong in their first GTC productions are Granbury High senior Chase Whittet as Laurie (Amy’s fiancee) and Josh Leblo as the professor with a keen interest in Jo.

This is truly a musical that could survive without a single note, the story is indeed that strong. But the music is certainly a wonderful addition, particularly when Cockerell belts out a number of tunes with her velvet voice.

Admittedly, the show builds from the beginning, and is even a little slow at first. Stay with it, though, as it’s not long before we find ourselves wrapped up in the lives of the sisters unfolding before them, wondering what lies with – as Jo might phrase it – the next turn of the page.

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Category: Life Archived