Michelle Kung
February 07, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Custom-made for the American Girl set, this innocuous musicalization of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is a tasteful, if tepid, salute to sisterhood. As aspiring author Jo, the most head-strong of the March girls, Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie) appealingly gawks and gallops her way from adolescence to adulthood. But in trying to weave in Alcott’s circuitous plot threads, the show sacrifices emotional depth for narrative breadth: One-note characters (Amy is simply Bratty) and overearnest songs could get devotees’ bonnets in a bundle.

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