Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review of Little House on the Prairie: The Musical--It was a book first

I got to see this musical at TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center) in Nashville, TN on October 31, 2009. Yes, I went to the theater instead of trick-or-treating this year. I was totally okay with that!

I didn't really have an expectation of what to expect of this show going in. I LOVE the books, enjoy the television series, but had no idea of any aspect of this show except that Melissa Gilbert was playing the role of "Ma." (She played the role of Laura in the television series.)

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised! The show spanned pretty much the entire series of books, beginning with the Ingalls family leaving Wisconsin and their big woods, ending with Laura and Almanzo's wedding. Many of the most cherished and well known story lines were included, like the girls attending school for the first time and meeting Nellie Oleson (who has quite a prominent role in this musical), Mary falling ill and losing her sight, the girls' first Independence Day celebration, the horrible winter and the blizzard that almost killed the entire town, Laura heading off to nearby town to teach and her experiences there, her courtship with Almanzo, and others.

The songs were catchy and fun. All of the actors did an amazing job and the costumes were quite realistic. Laura was wonderfully portrayed as having a "wild heart" which stayed true to the books.

Overall, I'd say this was worth missing trick-or-treating for! It was definitely a treat. If it comes to a town near you and you are at all a Little House fan, it's worth the price of admission.

You can find out more about this show at their website.


Debbie Reese said...

It sounds like the production completely avoided any of the Indian content the book had in it?

I'm American Indian (tribally enrolled at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico), and I'm a former schoolteacher. Now, I'm a professor (PhD in Education) at the University of Illinois. I publish a blog called American Indians in Children's Literature, and, I've written several times about LHOP.

ttulizzy said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting.

I don't recall an awful lot of Indian content in the musical. I know there was a mention of them by Ma (like the "they're scary" issues she had) but that is about it.

I don't even recall seeing on portrayed as a character in the play. But it has been a couple of weeks since I've seen it and wasn't specifically watching for that content.

Wow, I bet your studies are very interesting. I'll have to check out your blog!

Debbie Reese said...

I am on the faculty in American Indian Studies. Our director, Robert Warrior (he's Osage), was in Oklahoma recently. He brought me a poster for the Guthrie production. He did not see it.

A critical look at what Wilder said is pretty stunning... Looking, as you might guess, from an American Indian perspective.