Little Women [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Little Women [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

by Sutton Foster
4.8 10


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Little Women [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Louisa May Alcott's perennially popular 1869 novel Little Women, recounting the domestic adventures of the four March sisters (particularly the literarily minded middle sister, Jo) in the Civil War era in Concord, MA, has proven perennially popular as a subject of adaptation into other media, especially since the book fell out of copyright. There was the classic 1933 film starring Katharine Hepburn; a 1949 movie with June Allyson; a 1958 TV musical with songs by Richard Adler; a 1978 TV movie; and a well-received 1994 screen version featuring Winona Ryder. And, starting on January 23, 2005, there was a Broadway musical (no relation to the Adler work), with songs by composer Jason Howland and lyricist Mindi Dickstein, starring Sutton Foster (fresh from her Tony-winning performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Jo, with cabaret singer Maureen McGovern as Marmee, the mother of the brood. The show made a modest appearance on Broadway, which had in recent years seen a plethora of musical adaptations of public-domain novels. Neither particularly liked nor disliked by critics, it nevertheless settled in for an extended run, and while the cast album, recorded the month after the opening, seems to have had a little trouble finding a home, such that it did not appear in record stores until May 2005 through the auspices of theater specialist Ghostlight Records, the show was still running at that point. (After the Tony Award nominations virtually ignored it, only giving a nod to Foster, it closed on May 22 after 137 performances.) On disc, the reasons for both the theater community's indifference and the public's acceptance are suggested. Certainly, this is not a remarkable score; serviceable would be a better word to describe it. The lyrics have none of the wit that critics revel in when it comes from the pen of Stephen Sondheim, and the music is neither traditional Broadway show music nor entirely in the camp of the sub-operatic style of Andrew Lloyd Webber, though it suggests both at times. But then, Little Women is not the sort of material that would be likely to attract either Sondheim or Lloyd Webber. As the show goes on, it becomes apparent that Dickstein is aiming at a simple, plainspoken language that matches the tone of the book, while Howland, though capable of dramatic passages (particularly employed comically in "An Operatic Tragedy," as Jo recounts one of her overwritten early stories to a friend at the outset), also wants to match his music to the understated particulars of the story. The score is conventional and workmanlike: it gives co-star McGovern two showcases ("Here Alone" and "Days of Plenty") and provides Foster with a typical Broadway "I am" song ("Astonishing"). Indeed, it provides her with much more; this is nothing less than a star vehicle, and Foster, who may be to Broadway what Sandra Bullock was to Hollywood in the early 2000s, a rough-and-ready heroine who can handle a kiss or a pratfall with equal aplomb, is up to that challenge. Slow to get going, Little Women makes its points about family commitment and social responsibility movingly by its end, and it's no surprise that audiences respond to that kind of sincerity. (A national tour of Little Women began on August 30, 2005.)

Product Details

Release Date: 05/03/2005
Label: Ghostlight
UPC: 0791558440522
catalogNumber: 84405
Rank: 216873

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sutton Foster   Primary Artist,Vocals,cast
Maureen McGovern   Vocals,cast
Martin Agee   Violin
Lawrence Feldman   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,Piccolo
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet,Cornet,Flugelhorn
Karl Kawahara   Violin
Ted Mook   Celli
Russ Rizner-French   French Horn
Jim Saporito   Percussion
Mary Whitaker   Violin
David Blinn   Viola
Arthur Fiacco   Celli
Mark Lusk   Euphonium,Bass Trombone,Tenor Trombone
Liuh-Wen Ting   Viola
Sylvia Davanzo   Violin
Eric Degioia   Violin
Andrew Wilder   Conductor
Megan McGinnis   cast
Richard Sarpola   Bass
Danny Gurwin   Vocals,cast
Janet Carroll   Vocals,cast
John Hickok   Vocals,cast
Sean Carney   Violin
Lynne Cohen   English Horn,Oboe
Amy McAlexander   Vocals,cast
Rob Meffe   Piano
Robert Stattel   Vocals,cast
Jim Weitzer   Vocals,cast
Little Women Pit Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Meg McGinnis   Vocals
Jenny Powers   Vocals

Technical Credits

Joel Moss   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Steve Norman   Executive Producer
Kim Scharnberg   Producer,Audio Production
Jan Folkson   Pro-Tools
Noah Cornman   Executive Producer
Kurt Deutsch   Executive Producer
Jason Howland   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Peter Hylenski   Sound Effects
Allan Knee   Liner Notes
Mindi Dickstein   Composer
Allen Knee   Liner Notes,Book
Susan H. Schulman   Stage Direction
Mindi Dickstein   Lyricist

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Little Women [Original Broadway Cast Recording] 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this cd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for a new classic Broadway album for years -- and here it is at last! I love the full orchestra, the great Broadway singing, the songs that I hum in my head all day long. My favorite song, Some Things Are Meant To Be, although Days of Plenty is a close second. Lush, romantic, and sassy too - this is my new favorite CD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Six generations have read this story. This one will sing it." And sing it they have done. Very Good! ASTONISHING. I saw the show in March and could not wait for the is wonderful. Congrats to the cast and crew.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This soundtrack is really excellent!! My favorite songs are Our Finest Dreams, Five Forever, Astonishing, and Some Things Are Meant to Be. Sutton Foster has an amazing voice!! I wish I could have seen this show. Maybe the tour will come to my city!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago