Month: June 2018

PBS Masterpiece Little Women Episode 1 Recap

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Did you miss PBS’s 3-episode adaptation of Little Women? Well, don’t you worry. Here is a short recap of each episode by Daria Buvanova. However, Daria recommends you watch the series anyway. Just saying. Also, here is a giant SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know what happens (in delightfully sarcastic detail) during the series, don’t read any further.

Little Women Episode 1 Recap

No one can expect anything but perfection from a PBS series. From the costumes and set design to the tears and laughter, everything in Little Women is destined to be great. The March sisters — Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Jo (Maya Hawke), Beth (Annes Elwy), and Amy (Kathryn Newton) — live in their New England home with their mother “Marmee” (Emily Watson) while their father (Dylan Baker) serves as a Union chaplain in the Civil War.


The first episode opens at Christmas. The girls aren’t getting any presents this year because they don’t have much money. But Marmee manages to sneak a little something under their pillows anyway. So sweet! Christmas morning, Marmee and the sisters head to town to bring food to a poor family. That poor family is literally in rags. Marmee is big on charity, and so are some of the girls.

Theodore Laurence, “Laurie” (Jonah Hauer-King), moves in across the street from the March family to live with his grandfather (Michael Gambon). Both of his parents are dead. But hey, he’s got money. Laurie has his own tutor, John Brooke (Julian Morris). They’re basically friends since John is only a few years older than Laurie.


So, let’s talk about the girls some more. Meg is a governess in town for a rich family. She’s everything one would expect a 19th-century, well-behaved girl to be. Jo is loud, un-ladylike, and loves to write. In fact, she’s writing a novel! She is a companion for their rich, lonely, and extremely judgemental Aunt March (Angela Lansbury). She disapproves of many, many things. (Any Nanny McPhee fans out there? This character is oddly familiar to Aunt Adelaide portrayed by the one and only Angela Lansbury. What a small world.) Anyway… Beth doesn’t attend school so she just stays home with Marmee. She is painfully quiet and shy. And Amy, well…Amy is definitely still a kid. She goes to school, has an attitude, and likes all things pretty. Moving on.  

Laurie (and John) invite Jo and Meg to the theater. Amy gets mad because Jo said she can’t go with them. But she wasn’t invited so… Come on Amy, grow up a little. It’s clear that Laurie has a thing for Jo. He even asks her and Meg to switch seats to sit closer to Jo. While at the theater, Amy burns the novel Jo was writing in the fire. Jo brings home sweets from the theater for Amy and Meg informs Amy there are tickets available for the theater for next week. All is well… for a few seconds, until Jo learns what Amy did. It turns into a quite the fight; definitely worth watching. Jo says she can’t forgive Amy and that’s that.


As the story continues, Jo spends a lot of her free time with Laurie. It’s clear that he likes her but they’re not even flirting. Well, Laurie tries to flirt with Jo but it doesn’t quite seem to work. Which is a shame, because Laurie is hot. Anyway, they decide to go ice-skating. Laurie warns Jo about crackling noises and thin ice. Basically, he tells her to be careful. He cares! It’s so sweet! Then Amy joins them. Jo is still pissed. But wouldn’t you be if all of your hard work was destroyed by your brat of a sister? Amy steps on the ice and falls in. Ooops, I guess no one warned her to be careful. For a few minutes there, it’s pretty scary. It seems like Amy might either drown or freeze to death. (It’s like a Shonda Rhimes series here!) But Jo and Laurie pull her out and Amy doesn’t even catch a cold! Phew! And of course, Jo and Amy’s relationship is back to normal.

With all this commotion, you almost forget that there is a war going on until Marmee gets a telegram: Mr. March is ill. She plans to go see him. Jo sells her hair — her “one beauty” according to pretty much everyone in this show — in order to get the money for Marmee to afford to travel. Meanwhile, Aunt March gives money to Marmee for her to trip. Turns out she has a heart after all. John Brooke accompanies Marmee. The March sisters are left at home, scared of what is to come.


Want more? Read the recaps of Episode 2 and Episode 3!


The 2017/18 Primary Stages Season in Review

It seems like just yesterday that we were kicking off our 2017/18 season. Alas, our season is now officially over, so before we dive into our new and exciting 2018/19 season, here is our year in review:

Our first show of the season was The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord. A few of history’s most famous men, all of whom wrote their own version of the gospels, debated everything from religion to literature to marriage. Whose ideas did you agree with most?

Thom Sesma, Michael Laurence and Duane Boutte in Primary Stages' production of DISCORD - photo by Jeremy Daniel.jpg

Thom Sesma, Michael Laurence and Duane Boutté in DISCORD. (photo by Jeremy Daniel)

Next, you’ll fondly recall our second show of the season, Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice. This adaption had many of us laughing for two straight hours. (And if you haven’t yet heard, Kate Hamill is returning next season to Primary Stages with her adaptation of Little Women next May! Make sure you don’t miss it!)

The Cast of Primary Stages' 2017 Production of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - photo by James Leynse

The Cast of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. (photo by James Leynse)

Our Annual Gala (this was number 33!) honored Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the tony-winning songwriting team behind Ragtime, Once On this Island, and Anastasia; Broadway producers Janet B. and Marvin Rosen of In Transit; and corporate honorees Jose Mendez and Katie Graziano.

Primary Stages Annual Gala 2017

Terrence McNally presents awards to Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens

This season, we also had the pleasure of enjoying live music in A Walk With Mr. Heifetz. Mariella Haubs skillfully played the violin as the story in pre-Israel Palestine unfolded before our eyes. (And some of you may have even stayed for our special post-show concert series, Saturday Night Strings.)

A Walk With Mr. Heifetz by James Inverne and directed by Andrew Leynse playing at Primary Stages in New York.

Yuval Boim, Mariella Haubs, and Adam Green in A WALK WITH MR. HEIFETZ (photo by James Inverne

Our last show of the season was Feeding the Dragon. Written and performed by Sharon Washington, it was a true story of Sharon’s experience growing up inside the St. Agnes branch of the New York City Public Library. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we’ve had quite the literary season this year.

"Feeding the Dragon" at Primary Stages in New York

Sharon Washington in FEEDING THE DRAGON (photo by James Leynse)

In addition, we honored the 10th Anniversary of Primary Stages ESPA, our multidisciplinary theater training school for artists in all stages of their development. As part of the celebration, we brought back some of our favorite throwback classes and faculty from the past decade, and enjoyed many special events.

Sarah Matteucci, Miranda Wilson and Amy Harris

Team Primary Stages ESPA: Sarah Matteucci, Miranda Wilson, and Amy Harris

And we finished off our season with the Spring Fling, where we presented the Einhorn Mentorship Award to Kimberly Senior. Kimberly is a beloved teacher at Primary Stages ESPA as well as the director of the season opener,  …Discord.


Kimberly Senior receiving the 2018 Einhorn Mentorship Award.

Overall, it has been a truly wonderful season. Thank you for being a part of it and we hope you are looking forward to our coming 2018/2019 Season as much as we are!