Little Women on Film

As we continue rehearsing, singing and sweating, preparing our amazing production of Little Women the Broadway Musical for you in November, we thought we’d have some fun exploring a few of the other iterations of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved tale, this time on film…

Little Women on film…
Reborn for new generations!

There have been no fewer than thirteen different adaptations of Little Women on film–eight for the big screen and five for television, beginning in 1917 with a silent production from Britain, all the way up to next year’s highly anticipated production headed by Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig.  Here’s a look at some of the memorable versions that you may recall…and one that we all wish we could forget!

The 1933 Version

This first sound version of the film was resoundingly praised by critics and was the 4th highest earner at the box office that year.  It was directed by George Cukor and starred Katharine Hepburn, who was cast as Jo, fresh from her first Oscar win for Morning Glory.  Of her performance, the New York World-Telegram wrote that she gave “an unforgettably brilliant performance–once and for all, she definitely proves how unlimited and effortless an actor she truly is.”

The 1949 Version

Little Women of 1949 was an MGM spectacular and was of course filmed in Technicolor.  It was representative of  Hollywood’s “Golden Days” when the films were lush and sappy, with realism kept at bay.  A 31-year-old June Allyson played 17-year-old Jo–whom critics opined, ” while oozing sentimentality, can’t hold a bayberry candle to Hepburn’s Jo.”  Elizabeth Taylor was an overly petulant Amy, Margaret O’Brien a much-too-young Beth, and future Rat Packer Peter Lawford was Laurie. 

Nevertheless, it was one of the biggest box-office hits of 1949.

The 1994 Version

This version of the film was very well received and rated a very strong 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film 3½ stars, calling it “a surprisingly sharp and intelligent telling of Louisa May Alcott’s famous story, and not the soft-edged children’s movie it might appear.”  It’s probably the one best remembered by most of you–Winona Ryder as feisty Jo, Kirsten Dunst as precocious Amy, Susan Sarandon as strong and loving Marmie, and Christian Bale as a dreamy and loveable Laurie that every pre-teen girl fell in love with.

The 2019 Version

Coming next year will be yet another version of Little Women, this time directed by Greta Gerwig of Lady Bird fame, and starring Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Laura Dern as Marmie, Timothee Chalamet as Laurie, and Meryl Streep as the always pompous Aunt March.  This eagerly anticipated retelling of the tale is scheduled to arrive Christmas 2019.

…And then there’s the 1978 version

You knew it had to happen.  It was the 70’s and the era of the mini-series, so naturally NBC hopped on the bandwagon with it’s version of Little Women starring Susan Dey of Partridge Family fame as Jo, the Brady Bunch’s Eve Plumb as Beth, Meredith Baxter-Birney as Meg, and what 70’s mini-series would be complete without William Shatner as Professor Bhaer?  It’s probably best if we just skip right past the reviews…

Create your own memories!

Join us for Little Women the Broadway Musical November 9-11 and 16-18

Tickets on Sale Now!

Meet the March Sisters

Man, did we ever hit the jackpot during auditions for this show!  We’re confident you will be blown away by all of the talent coming at you from the stage of Little Women–the Broadway Musical.  And that goes double for our amazing March sisters!  Take a look below and get to know these very talented young actors!

Laurel Bollard is Jo March
Laurel Bollard is Jo March

Laurel is so excited to be making her Landmark Theatre Company debut! She is currently a sophomore at Cal State University, Fullerton, earning her B.F.A in Musical Theatre. Past roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Ensemble in FJC’s Spring Awakening, and Gypsy in SDR’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Her most notable credit was in 2017 where she made her Broadway Debut in the Jimmy Awards, live at the Minskoff theatre! Laurel would like to thank the entire cast and crew of this truly wonderful show! She  dedicates this show to her loving parents, and all of the amazing teachers that have gotten her to this point in her acting career. It’s going to be an “Astonishing” experience!


Mackenzie Hamilton is Meg March
Mackenzie Hamilton is Meg March

Mackenzie is absolutely enthralled to finally be in Little Women the Musical. Besides playing the eldest March sister, Mackenzie’s recent credits include the First Soprano in Scarlet Letter the Musical (Greenway Court Theatre), Andrina in The Little Mermaid (Sound Stage LIVE ft. Todrick Hall), Cosette in Les Miserables (Warner Grand Theatre), and Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical (Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center). Mackenzie would like to thank the entire cast and crew for their hard work, her family for always supporting her, and Andrew for always being by her side. Enjoy the show!


Natalie Gissel is Beth March
Natalie Gissel is Beth March

Natalie is a senior at Millikan High School where she sings in the Chamber Choir and Vocal Ensemble, and dances on the Advanced Dance Team. Her favorite previous roles include Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, Amber in Hairspray, and Ethel Peas in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Natalie is very excited for her first performance with Landmark Theatre Company and hopes you enjoy the show!


Sara Cooper is Amy March
Sara Cooper is Amy March

Sara has been studying music professionally for eleven years. She has been performing since she was nine, and was ecstatic to graduate recently from the Classical Music Program at Irvine Valley College. She is moving to Long Beach with plans to pursue a degree in Jazz Vocals at CSU, Long Beach. This is her first production with Long Beach Landmark Theatre. She is adoring every moment of bringing this production of Little Women to life, and is beyond proud to be a new member of the Landmark Theatre Family!




The Influence of Little Women Today!

A few days from now, on September 30, Little Women will mark it’s 150th anniversary in print–a milestone by any measure, and one that society and the media have taken note of. A Masterpiece Theatre mini-series just aired a few months ago, and it was recently announced that director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) will begin production shortly on a new version starring Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. Numerous magazines have recently featured articles about Louisa May Alcott and her legacy, and an influential new book has just been released on the subject.

Given all that’s going on in the world today, it seems we need this simple, empowering story of sisters taking on the world together more than ever!

Let’s look at some of the influences that this timeless novel continues to have on today’s culture…

Little Women has been an inspirational motivator to scores of influential women…

For example, here’s a partial list of esteemed woman authors who cite Louisa May Alcott
and ‘Little Women’ as inspiration to pursue writing:

  • J.K. Rowling
  • Nora and Delia Ephrone
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Gloria Steinem
  • Erica Jong
  • Susan Sontag
  • Anne Tyler
  • and Patti Smith, who wrote,
    It was Louisa May Alcott who provided me with a positive view of my female destiny.

…and some men, too!

These are a few of the men who admit to being moved and inspired by Louisa’s story…

  • Teddy Roosevelt
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • James Carvil
  • John Matteson

…and continues to inspire as much as ever–everywhere!

As mentioned above, next Sunday will be the 150th anniversary of the initial release of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The book was an instant success and has never been out of print since. There have been more than 100 editions of the book printed in more than 50 languages. The BBC’s “Big Read” named Little Women the 4th most loved novel of all time. Estimated sales to date of this beloved tale exceeds 10 million books worldwide!

Looking for a Little Reading on Little Women?

Here are a few thought provoking articles recently written about the influence of Little Women…
The New Yorker–August 27, 2018
Ladies Choice–What Gives ‘Little Women’ its lasting power?

Vanity Fair–October, 2018
The March of Jo

The New Republic–August 10, 2018 (online)
Why ‘Little Women’ Endures

As well as current articles in Vogue, Town & Country, Smithsonian, and Harpers’ Bazaar

How about a lot of reading on Little Women?

If you’re looking for some compelling reading in advance of seeing our inspiring production of Little Women the Broadway Musical, why not consider this newly released book by Anne Boyd Rioux. Hailed as a truly insightful look at Little Women and it’s importance in society today, this would make for a great read while you anxiously await our show’s arrival in November!

Come be Inspired!
Join us for Little Women the Broadway Musical November 9-11 and 16-18

Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets now on sale for Little Women

Long Beach Landmark Theatre is proud to announce that tickets for its premier fall musical are now on sale!

Little Women: the Broadway Musical
November 9, 10, 11 & 16, 17, 18.

Buy Tickets Now

Based Louisa May Alcott’s beloved American classic, this timeless and captivating tale has been brought to life, live on stage! Filled with soaring melodies and poignant lyrics, Little Women follows the adventures of the March sisters on their journeys of personal discovery, empowerment, heartache, hope and love. As with all LBLTC Fall shows, Little Women will be a fully staged production featuring a stellar cast and professional 12-piece orchestra.

Join us for this amazing theatrical experience in our magnificent performance space – newly improved with even better sight-lines and impeccable sound!