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'Little Women' and Costumes in Concord

FIRST Robotics gets the nod to go to St. Louis, there’s still more "Night Music", and Louisa May Alcott is everywhere.

Greetings, and welcome to Thursday! Are you loving this weather, or what?? This taste of spring is like, well, a breath of fresh air – even though we didn’t have the most difficult winter. It’s still so lovely to get out and bike and walk, sans sweaters and boots. Last week, I took a walk in Estabrook woods with my friend , and we came across a beaver lodge on the edge of Mink Pond, and, even better, two young minks, who looked at us curiously for quite awhile. Really cool!

There’s a lot of fun stuff to tell you about, so let’s dig in!

CCHS Robotics Team Wins

I know I dream of a robot that will do my bidding, so I’m happy to hear that there’s a robotics team at the High School, figuring out how to build robots and make them do stuff. Unfortunately for me, their robot plays basketball – I’ve already got a live kid who does that. But their robot helped them to win the regional championship last Saturday at WPI, earning them a spot at the World Championships in St. Louis. Very cool, especially since this team, FIRST Robotics, has only been around for three years. I love that our high school has made a commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and I’m hopeful their next robot will be able to do something a little more meaningful – to me, at least. Congratulations, and good luck in St. Louis!

Little Women Lecture Series at First Parish

Recently the Little Women Spring the Concord Players have planned, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House as a museum. Well, their next event is a series of three talks, or Community Conversations, looking at Little Women from different angles. Each of the talks runs from 7:30-9 pm over at First Parish Unitarian Church, 20 Lexington Road, and costs $5 (though teachers and students are free).

The first talk is next Thursday, March 22, and is titled “I Always Wanted to be Like Jo.” Jo, of course, is the strong, independent minded March sister, modeled after Louisa May herself. Four Concord women who identified with her character growing up will discuss how Little Women influenced their lives, moderated by Jan Turnquist, herself the director of Orchard House and currently rehearsing the role of Marmee for the Players’ upcoming production of Little Women.

The four woman are: Melissa Saalfield, former President of the Board of Trustees of the Concord Free Public Library and a corporator of Orchard House for over twenty years; Kathy Reticker, past director of the Concord Children’s Center; Maura Clarke, who grew up in Concord as one of four daughters, like the March girls, and works to help girls find their voice; and Jiffy Read, a third-generation Concordian who is a horse whisperer and emotional literacy teacher in the Concord prison.

The second talk takes place March 29 and is titled “Dramatizations of Little Women: Movies, Theatre, and Television”. Writer and developmental psychologist Kate Henchman will look at how society has impacted the different productions, and you’ll even get to see snippets of Little Women as portrayed in film and on television.

Finally, the third talk, “Learning from Little Women,” on April 12, will have Prof. Jayne Gordon of the Mass Historical Society, historian Phil McFarland, and an academic-to-be-named-later discuss the historical and ethical impact of Miss Alcott’s popular novel.

All told, this series offers a unique opportunity to learn everything you ever wanted to know about our esteemed former resident Louisa May Alcott.

Night Music Fever

If you totally missed it last weekend, A Little Night Music is still playing this weekend up at the High School, Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. This is a most excellent musical by Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd) and the talent at the high school is not to be believed. You will not regret an evening – or afternoon – spent watching this. To get your tickets, go to ccpops.org and click on “Buy Tickets Here.”

Costumes, costumes everywhere

Who doesn’t love a parade? Especially when it’s a parade of fashions, and not just fashions, but fabulous costumes from almost every era. For the 300 plus audience members at last Saturday’s Costume Parade at 51 Walden, it was a treat for the eyes, with everything from kings and queens to flappers to Victorian ladies. And the participants had just as much fun as the voyeurs, getting to wear finery and frippery their normal lives just don’t allow. Really, who doesn’t have a secret desire to don a powdered wig and pretend to be an eighteenth century dandy? Or sweep across the floor in an elegant gown of another era? It was a sight to behold. Big kudos to Jill Henderson, who pulled together this extraordinary event, and the many people who made it happen, including Costume Diva extraordinaire Tracy Wall. Spectacular!

 

Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at stefanieac@comcast.net or Maureen at mcb23@comcast.net, and we will be happy to help you spread the good news.

And follow us on Twitter: Maureen is @cosmo1162, I’m @stefanie3131.

 

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