“Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind ‘Little Women’ ’’ manages to penetrate the facts of Louisa May Alcott’s life (1832-1888) to get at her humor, her spirit, and her growth as a person. With a smart, tasteful use of docudramatic re-creations, director Nancy Porter gives us the story of a writer’s interior world and genesis with more drama and color than you generally expect from a 90-minute documentary.
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For those who know Louisa May Alcott only as the author of some of the most enduring classics of children’s literature, “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind ‘Little Women’ ” will be a revelation. For those already familiar with Alcott’s Transcendentalist-boho childhood, her sensational tales of love and horror under the pen name A.M. Barnard and her refusal to diminish her personal and economic freedom by marrying, the dramatically reenacted documentary gives life and texture to a woman of extraordinary talent and determination who became as great a celebrity in her day as J.K. Rowling is in ours.
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Obie Award winner Elizabeth Marvel will star in Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Polly Stenham’s That Face to run April 29-May 18 at New York City Center – Stage I. The dark comedy focuses on an affluent family coming to the realization that money can no longer fix all of their problems.
Suzan-Lori Parks has found a leading lady for her latest play at the Public Theater: Elizabeth Marvel will star as the title character in “The Book of Grace,” a new dramatic work about a conflict in a southern Texas family, the Public said in a news release. Ms. Marvel has previously appeared at the Public in “Troilus and Cressida” and “King Lear,” as well as in its Shakespeare in the Park production of “Henry V,” and on Broadway in “Top Girls.” “The Book of Grace,” to be directed by the “Top Girls” director James Macdonald, is to begin previews on March 2 at the Public, with an official opening scheduled for March 16.
Ben Brantley of the New York Times said that the marital partners in the “bruising domestic drama” were “embodied with fearsome commitment and insight by Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Marvel, two of the finest American stage stars of their generation.”