Categories: Saratoga County
The March sisters are coming to Niskayuna High School.
So is Marmee, the mother of the spirited girls, and two sister love interests — Laurie and Professor Bhaer.
The dramatic presentation will come with songs: “Little Women, The Musical,” will begin its run in the high school auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Twenty-four actors have been rehearsing for the show since late November. About 75 other students will work behind the scenes, in the orchestra, on make-up, hair styles, costumes, props, lights and other components.
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1869 semi-autobiographical novel, the story focuses on the sisters – traditional Meg; wild, aspiring writer Jo; timid Beth; and romantic Amy. The girls and Marmee are all home in Concord, Massachusetts while their father and husband is away serving as a chaplain in the Union army during the Civil War.
The actresses and actors are ready for the show.
“The music adds so much, it makes it such a beautiful thing to watch,” said sophomore Gabriella Pizzolo, 15, who will play Beth.
“I love acting and performing and I love most of all watching the audience to see what they take out of it, what it brings to them,” Pizzolo said. “That’s why I love theater so much.”
Pizzolo also loves Beth.
“She’s very family-oriented,” Pizzolo said. “She loves her family.”
Senior Alex Burgess, 17, will play Jo.
“She’s very ambitious,” Burgess said of her character. “She wants to be a writer and she wants to travel. She loves her sisters and she wants to be close to her family for her whole life.”
Niskayuna theater fans may recognize Burgess from another role – she played Christine Daae in the school’s 2017 presentation of the “Phantom of the Opera.”
As “Little Women” is set during the 1860s, players all will be dressed be in period costumes.”
“They’re so fun,” Burgess said. “There are hoop skirts this year. You feel like a princess.”
Madalyn Montgomery, 16, a junior, won the role of Amy.
“She’s definitely the most stubborn of the sisters,” Montgomery said. “She’s very energetic, in a way. She wants everything her sisters have.”
Montgomery saw the “Little Women” musical a few years ago. “It’s so exciting to be in it at my high school with all my friends,” she said.
As Meg, Bella Zonderman, 16, a sophomore, will play the oldest of the March sisters. She loves rehearsals.
“I love to work on my character, character development is interesting,” she said.
The actresses all appreciate the story, which they believe makes a point: family always sticks together.
Senior Jordan McCann, 17, does not playing an older character on stage. As mother, Marmee is the senior woman in the show.
“I’m kind of used to it,” she said. “I have a younger brother.”
McCann said she tries to imagine how a true mother would act with true daughters … what kind of advice she would give, what she would do to ensure the kids’ happiness. “I try to put myself in that,” she said.
For the guys, Brendan Codd, 17, likes his Laurie. “I really love how goofy he is, and how goofy I get to be,” said Codd, a senior who played Sir Dinadan in Niskayuna’s 2018 musical “Camelot.”
Codd also likes the way the show is set up. Actors and actresses all get their moments to shine on stage.
Daniel Klepeis, 17, a junior, plays Professor Bhaer.
“He’s very different from anyone I’ve ever played,” said Klepeis, who played Lancelot in the “Camelot” production. Like Burgess, he likes the chance to travel back to the 1800s.
“Life back then was very different,” he said.
Eric Hughes, Niskayuna’s longtime musical director, is enjoying both the musical and dramatic components.
“The music helps people understand the motivation for the characters and their personal feelings,” Hughes said. “And it explains the relationships in a way that you necessarily wouldn’t get from the book.”
“Little Women, The Musical” will open Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Other show times are: Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $16 for adults and $12 for students. All seating is reserved.
To purchase tickets online, theater patrons are asked to visit https://www.showtix4u.com.
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or [email protected]