Tag Archives: Civil War

Little Women Play Review

Little Women is one of the true classics of American literature. Louisa May Alcott‘s 1868 novel has been the favorite of many readers (myself included) since it’s debut 150 years ago.

A few weeks ago, Little Women, written by playwright/actress Kate Hamill premiered at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City.

Stepping into the roles of the iconic March sisters are Hamill (Meg), Kristolyn Lloyd (Jo), Paola Sanchez Abreu (Beth) and Carmen Zilles (Amy). The narrative of the play follows the narrative of the book: The March sisters are growing up and coming of age in Civil War era Massachusetts. Meg is responsible, but also yearns to be fit in. Jo is the rebellious tomboy who dreams of becoming a writer. Beth is shy, preferring the company of her family to the company of strangers. Amy is spoiled and impulsive.

This play is brilliant. As a fan and a playwright, Hamill understands how to adapt a beloved classic for this generation. She has also hit on certain underlying subjects within the narrative that have been overlooked in the past.

One of my favorite aspects of the play is the non-traditional casting. In choosing actors that are not all Caucasian, this adaptation speaks to all of us, regardless of skin color.

Though I will warn the some purists may have some issues with the choices that Hamill made as a playwright.

I recommend it.

Little Women is playing at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City until June 29th. Check the website for showtimes and ticket prices.

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Filed under Books, Broadway Play Review, Feminism, History, New York City

The Greatest Thing You Can Do Is Serve Your Country, But Some Are Still Prevented From Serving

Immigrant has become a dirty word in this country, especially since you know who became President.

While the ban on Transgender troops was lifted last year, there are many who are willing and able to serve, but are given the runaround when they present themselves as recruits.

Today, the Associated Press reported that immigrant recruits are being quietly discharged by the military.

Not only is America the land of immigrants, but her military is made up of immigrants or children of immigrants. My grandfathers, the sons of Jewish immigrants, served their country in World War II. One of my great-uncles served in World War I.  Many Irish immigrants fought for the North and the South during the Civil War. Similarly, European immigrants fought for America during World War I. They wanted to prove that they were just as American as any native-born soldier.

The fact is that America has not had a draft since Vietnam. Everyone who signs up for the military is doing so of their own free will.  They know, just as we know, that it is an honorable, but perilous profession.

To potentially put your life on the line to protect the American people, reveals to me at least, the nature of those who join the military. I could say the same thing about you know who, but he did use the excuse of “bone spurs” to get out of serving in Vietnam.

 

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Thoughts On The Anniversary Of The Publishing Of Little Women

Late last month was the 149th anniversary of the publishing of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Little Women for those unaware, is the story of the four March sisters growing up in Civil War era Massachusetts. Their father is away, fighting for the Union, leaving his wife, known as Marmee to her daughters, to be both mother and father.

Meg, the oldest, is level-headed and responsible. Jo (short for Josephine), is the tomboy, the son her father never had and the wannabe writer. Beth is the homebody who rarely socializes outside of her family circle. Amy, the baby of the family, is artistic, but spoiled and selfish. Living in genteel poverty, the girls, the mother and their longtime housekeeper, Hannah do the best they can under their circumstances.

What I love about this book is that it is so universal. While the sisters are archetypes, Alcott brilliantly fleshed them out so they are fully formed characters. She also allows her characters to grow in a very organic way, instead of forcing adulthood upon them. There is also, as there is often is with books by female writers before the modern era, an undercurrent of feminism.

It’s been 23 years since the last film adaptation of Little Women was released.

Next year, PBS will be airing their own adaptation of Little Women.

When I think of Little Women, I think of how much I understand these girls and their journey. I also think how much this book mean to me when I was growing up and how it led me to become the bookworm I am today.

Louisa May Alcott, thank you for this amazing, wonderful book that continues to last. May the book and your legacy live forever.

 

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Movies, Writing