UMKC Theatre presents “Women”

It is rare that you see a cast so thoroughly enjoy themselves in a play that it makes you enjoy the play too. UMKC’s production of “Women” is one of those plays.

Of course, this play is a sitcom-esque version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which is a book that attempts to break down societal standards of women by showing the struggles of the nuclear family in America. The lead, Jo, is a strong independent aspiring writer, that has no interest in men, and only a desire to get out of her small town. Jo is portrayed by Hannah Woosley, who embodies the role of Jo perfectly. Jo, in the story, shaves her head to get money for her family, a common feature Jo and Hannah already shared. Even without this, you would think that Jo and Hannah are the same person completely. Woosley walks through Jo’s world as if it is her own.

Jo has three sisters and one brother: Meg, Amy, Beth and Carl. Carl, who Frederick Rivera portrayed as amazingly as his aforementioned sister. Rivera had the task of playing three comedic roles in this play: Mr. Lawrence, Clovis and Carl. He played all three incredibly well, and every single person was laughing with every line he delivered. Meg and Amy, portrayed by Taylor Neill and Amy King both played their parts fairly well, they proved themselves important characters to the play. Beth, played by Haley Solowey, also did well, but seemed to have become lost behind forced comedy.

At various times throughout the play, when Beth would fall into a coughing fit, actors would come out with large signs saying “#bethdies,” an attempt at humour and a way to purposely spoil some of the information to the audience. This, although funny at first, lost itself. Over use of comedy troupes like this were riddled throughout the play. Some jokes were just simply too long, or were played on one too many times. There was even a dance scene, which at first would have any audience member cringe. The actors were “flossing”, the popular dance move, and playing a current bop, which was an over-attempt to insert mainstream culture into the play. Despite this forced humour, the cast was having a great time. You could see they genuinely enjoyed each other, and the time they were having. From then, any time they had struggle keeping a straight face, you also had struggle keeping a straight face. This family-like feel makes all 80 minutes of this play worth seeing.

jpn2f@mail.umkc.edu

 

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