Hard Work Pays Off for Little Women: The Musical

Nora Shychuk

Photo by Grace Singer

The acting, costumes, lights and stage all made up the components of “Little Women: The Musical,” a production and  an achievement for Jacksonville University that is having an  impact than no one could have foreseen.

Little Women has been nominated for several awards by Broadwayworld.com for the Florida area. JU is one of just two colleges receiving such an honor.

Nikki Spies, Maggie Moore, Elyn Wolfe and Jet Thomas are all nominated for Best Actress in a Musical.

Ross Frontz and Stephen Michael Johns are also up for Best Actor in a Musical.

Alec Hadden and Erick Crow are up for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and Keisha Marie Gill scored a Best Featured Actress nod.

Additionally, the entire cast is up for Best Ensemble with Nikki Spies and Ross Frontz up for Best Younger Actor/Actress Under 25.

Spies, a senior, took the time to speak about the nominations.

“I was completely surprised. I got a text message from our director Kimberley Beasley saying, ‘Hey, check this out, you’ve been nominated for some awards.’ When I saw that it was best actress, I freaked. To me that is such an honor.  I know it’s corny, but I’ve always dreamed that one day I’ll walk down a red carpet. This was my little Oscar moment.”

If the nominations weren’t enough of an accomplishment, Little Women is also up for Best Costume Design (Janae Lafleur), Best Director of a Musical (Kimberley Beasley), Best Lighting and Set Design (Brandon Lettow), and Best Musical.

The cast will find out in about a month if any awards were placed with the nominations. However, it seems just being nominated is quite enough.

“Oh my gosh!” said Anesha Hines, the stage director and a senior. “This is really exciting. It is so awesome to have been around the people who are nominated. We’re not even a mainstream or professional theatre. We’re just in college!”

Such a thrilling time for the cast is not only something to be proud of. It also brings back a lot of important memories.

“I loved everything about Little Women,” Spies said. “If I could play that part for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. I have two favorite memories; the first was opening night after singing ‘Astonishing’ for the first time for my family and friends and knowing that that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That feeling is the best feeling ever and I don’t really know how to describe it. The second was the feeling of camaraderie in the cast and every night walking offstage after the final number and hugging fellow cast mates Ross Frontz and Stephen Michael Johns and knowing that ‘this is it.’”