Virtual Production Brings You Back to the Theatre: A Review of King’s Players "Little Women"
I cried when I watched the show. This is exactly what I needed during a stressful week.
King’s Players Little Women (directed by Diegra Kambamba, assistant directed by Corey Patrick) brought me back to the theatre. The show was perfectly casted and each of the actors’ voices have amazing quality. The production reminded me of the sheer talent that we have on Western and affiliate campuses.
The selection of Little Women felt right. It is a story laced with elements of tragedy and hope, encouraging viewers that the power of family, love, and friendship will always be present in our lives. I have not read Louisa May Alcott’s literary classic of the same name because of the sadness within the pages. I didn’t even venture to see the recent Greta Gerwig movie. I will not spoil it for you, but yes, there will be tears.
With such an emotionally intense piece, the cast needed to be right. Kambamba and her team did an incredible job finding such a wonderful group to take on the material. If I had the space, I could compliment each actor in the show for their portrayal of each specific character.
Our leading individual, Keren Kayembe, takes on the role of Jo March. Jo has a passion for creativity, trying tirelessly to publish her stories and make money for her family. Jo encourages her sisters to “give [her] a task,” and she vows to complete it, no matter how impossible. Kayembe brings the passion of Jo to the virtual stage. She brings excitement when she talks about her stories, and she brings a sense of warmth to conversations with her sisters. Kayembe’s emotional range is inspiring.
One of Jo’s sisters, Amy, played by Erin Sevigny, does not always get along with Jo. Sevigny brings an extensive talent for voice to the show. As Amy, she uses childlike tones to establish a contrast between herself and the other March sisters. Her vocal tones translate well to her singing. Sevigny is strong in every song that she sings.
A specific scene that showcases the chemistry of the cast (even over Zoom) is between Mr. Lawrence (Alex Pinter) and Beth (Marwa Osman). In the scene, the cold Mr. Lawrence is transformed, and Pinter certainly plays this scene beautifully. As Osman plays the piano and sings, Pinter joins in with his vocals. The voices fit together nicely, and one can feel the newfound joy between the characters.
The cast is complimented through wardrobe and set design. Although the set is often sparse, it is continuously effective. A chair and table or a fireplace make the March’s home distinct. A decorated desk marks the professor’s (Riley Young) room in New York. Each costume compliments the set, being accurate to the period is which the musical is set. One stand out costume was a pink dress with a lace shawl for Meg (Emma Battel).
With the talent of the actors and thoughtful organization of stage elements, any criticisms look minor. There were some issues with the editing, but viewers should understand the difficulty of mounting a virtual production as it truly is new territory. Be prepared for a couple of audio quality issues. As well, there are a couple of editing errors. These will certainly not hinder the overall impact of the production. After all, editing a video is not part of a “typical” theatre process.
I encourage you to see this production if you miss the theatre. The show is filled with the magic of the stage, and you can view it from home! The March sisters are truly iconic characters, and the story will lead you through a rollercoaster of emotions. Leave your reality at the door and enter the world of Little Women.
Interested in attending? You can learn more about the show and find tickets here: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/46780