Little Women the Musical


The Story



Act One


As LITTLE WOMEN opens, we see JO MARCH enacting her OPERATIC TRAGEDY for PROFESSOR BHAER, her neighbor in Mrs. Kirk’s New York boarding house. Her "blood and guts" saga is clearly not to his taste. He suggests she is capable of more refined writing. After he leaves, Jo ponders whether her writing was BETTER years before, back home in Concord, Massachusetts.

Reminiscing on those days, we venture back to the March family attic of two years previous. Jo is rehearsing her siblings in her new Christmas play. Each sister is trying to find something to be happy about that Christmas; it is difficult with their father away at war, and no money for gifts or a Christmas tree. Jo promises they will no longer want for anything once she is a successful writer, and they will all realize OUR FINEST DREAMS. As Jo runs off to fulfill one of those dreams, MARMEE comes home with a letter from their father. As she tries to do so herself, she reflects on how her life is HERE ALONE.

To help support the family, Jo has taken up helping AUNT MARCH. Aunt March worries that Jo is not the lady she needs to be to take her place in proper society. Jo wants to tell Aunt March what she thinks of society, but Aunt March offers to bring Jo with her to Europe...if she can change her ways. “COULD YOU?", she asks.

“I could change if I wanted to,” replies Jo.

Time passes, and older sister MEG has one of her dreams realized: she and Jo are invited to a Valentine’s Ball! While younger sister BETH is happy for them, the youngest, AMY, is jealous. Meg worries what to say to potential suitors. “I’LL BE DELIGHTED” is what Marmee suggests. When the glamorous evening arrives, Amy tries to go in Jo’s place, as she feels she’s more entitled. When Marmee won’t allow her, Amy pouts and acts out to show her unhappiness.

At the ball, Jo is startled by the appearance of her neighbor LAURIE, who is accompanied by his tutor, MR. BROOKE. Meg is soon smitten by Mr. Brooke, and they leave to dance. Laurie professes his need for friends, and soon he asks Jo to TAKE A CHANCE ON ME. His good nature wins over Jo, and she agrees to take that chance!

Back home, after the ball, Amy and Jo have a little confrontation: It seems Amy’s jealousy has gotten the best of her. Marmee tries to intervene, scolds Amy for her actions and explains to Jo that Amy is still very much a child.

Jo is still getting over the sting of her tiff with Amy as she starts to express her feelings through her writing. Time passes, and we find Laurie inviting Jo to a skating race. Beth offers her skates to Amy, as Amy has outgrown her pair.

Intent on staying inside, Beth sits at the piano, out of tune as it is. Mr. Laurence, looking for his grandson, comes upon her musical attempts. She soon softens his hard heart, and they find themselves playing a duet OFF TO MASSACHUSETTS. He leaves, but not before inviting Beth to come play his (in-tune) grand piano next door.

Coming in from skating, we see Amy has fallen through the ice, and rescued by Laurie. Having faced this life or death situation, Jo and Amy resolve their differences, and Jo swears in Laurie as an honorary member of the March family, officially making them FIVE FOREVER.

Time passes, and Marmee is making plans to go to Washington to tend to her ill husband, but is short on funds. Jo saves the day, coming up with money to pay her fare. Marmee is just barely gone when Aunt March and Jo have a heated exchange, and Aunt March rescinds her offer of Europe. Instead, Aunt March turns her focus on Amy, to make her into the model society lady that she wished Jo would have been.

Before Jo can settle the matter, Mr. Brooke comes in to announce his enlistment in the Union Army, and to ask for Meg’s hand in marriage so he could be MORE THAN I AM. All of this seems so sudden to Jo, who questions Meg loyalty to the family; after all, they had sworn to remain together forever. Jo’s world is starting to change significantly!

A few weeks later, visiting Jo in her attic, Laurie arrives with news and a declaration. The news: With Mr. Brooke at war, he is headed off to college in Boston. The declaration: He’s in love with Jo!

All this is too much for Jo. She refuses his advances, sends him off, and questions her future. Will she be able to find her way, without her sisters or her best friend? As Act One ends, she vows her life will be ASTONISHING, no matter what!


Act Two


Back in New York, 1866. The war has ended, and Mrs. Kirk and Professor Bhaer are holding a telegram for Jo. Jo, however, bursting in, has her own news to share. She has sold her first story to THE WEEKLY VOLCANO PRESS! Soon all are privy to its contents—she sold her OPERATIC TRAGEDY encountered earlier on, only now it’s better, thanks to the Professor’s advice!

Once Jo comes down to earth, Mrs. Kirk remembers the telegram: Beth is gravely ill. Jo packs to leave New York immediately. She hastily makes her goodbyes.

Back in Concord, Mr. Laurence has his own plan to make Beth well—he moves his piano into the March home. Beth and her family are overwhelmed by his generosity, and soon all join in another rendition of OFF TO MASSACHUSETTS.

After the song, Jo sends a note to Professor Bhaer, telling him of her plans to take Beth and Marmee to Cape Cod with her earnings. She asks him what’s new in New York. He tries over and over, but just can’t quite find the way to tell her HOW I AM.

Once on the Cape, Jo splurges her meager earnings on her mother and sister. All put up a brave front concerning Beth’s health, but Jo and Beth privately admit to one another SOME THINGS ARE MEANT TO BE.

Back in Concord, eventually Amy and Aunt March return from Europe. Much has changed. MEG is now a mother, Jo is now a published writer, and Beth has passed on. Things are different for Amy, too: she is engaged to Laurie, who consoled her in Europe when Beth died. Together they break the news to Jo; after all, it was THE MOST AMAZING THING.

Later, in her attic, Jo asks Marmee how she has been able to handle the loss of Beth. Simply, Marmee insists Beth will always be with them, and that Jo, too, will find she has DAYS OF PLENTY.

Jo takes in what her mother has said, and finally sees how she can go on... and how she can keep Beth's memory alive. Jo begins work on what is to become her greatest achievement: LITTLE WOMEN the novel. THE FIRE WITHIN ME fills her attic, and her heart, as she brings her family to life on paper.

The day of Amy and Laurie’s wedding arrives. Amidst the last minute details, Jo and Aunt March finally resolve their issues. Aunt March will leave Jo her house, with the suggestion that she open a school. Her generosity touches Jo in ways she never expected.

Suddenly, in the flurry of wedding excitement, a confused Professor Bhaer enters, looking for Jo. He apologizes for arriving on so auspicious a day, but he comes with good news and a declaration of his own. First, Jo’s manuscript has been bought! Jo March is a novelist! As for his declaration....

Well, he bought a kite!

But from this point, he proceeds to pour his heart out to Jo, and tells her how he’s finally ready to share his SMALL UMBRELLA IN THE RAIN.

Jo, always skeptical, questions their chances. Theirs would be a new kind of relationship for a new world. Could it possibly work....?

That question is answered nightly at LITTLE WOMEN, the musical! Come discover how it all works out for yourself! It’s as unexpected as can be!



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