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Forward, March: Rey Terciero & Bre Indigo’s “Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy”

It had been two weeks since their discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s seminal novel, Little Women, had ended with Gwen’s surprise reveal of its graphic novel adaptation. The modern retelling –– Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo –– was published in 2019, to mark the 150th anniversary of the novel. As the cover made clear, the story had been updated to a modern New York setting, with an interracial March family and an expanded supporting cast.

“Most of the plot points match, at least to start out,” Gwen had explained. “You have the major scenes –– the opening at Christmas, Meg going to Vanity Fair, and so on. The second half is where the adaptation loosens.”

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Nature/Nurture: Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”

“It’s been so long since I first read it,” sighed Eleanor, looking down at her Christmas sweater.

“This was absolutely my favorite book, growing up,” glowed Gwen, gripping her dog-eared copy tighter.

“I read it once, in secondary school, but barely remembered what happened,” Dania admitted, with a little pout. “It’s a lot better than I thought.”

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Airplane Mode: Macha Theatre Works’ “The Flight Before Xmas”

“But how did the cat get into her bag?” asked Eleanor,

“I don’t know,” said Dania, standing to put her coat back on. “Does it matter?”

“Not really,” Eleanor shrugged. The logic behind the reappearance of the cat didn’t particularly matter –– Maggie Lee’s play wore its heart proudly on its sleeve, to the point that the moral destinations were more satisfying than the narrative journeys that preceded them. “How the cat got there isn’t as important as the fact that it was found,” Eleanor summed up.

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Empty Stockings: Wrigleyville’s “Christmas Club” Pop-Up with Kelsey McGrath

“What are those?”

All four of them looked at the ceiling, festooned from wall to wall with decorations: presents on strings, a collection of DVD cases for holiday favorites, a ventilation pipe wrapped in string lights. Among the hanging décor, just to their left, were a pool of ornaments –– each consisting of a Santa hat, above a pair of Santa pants.

“It’s like a holly jolly dry cleaner,” Dania quipped.

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