La Petite Maison

For a period of no less than four years, a production team has been attempting to create a musical version of one of the best-loved book and television series of all time: Little House on the Prairie . Before the series ran in the mid-1970s to ’80s, it was a collection of successful novels that dramatized the life and times of its author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, who grew up with her family in the wide plains of the South Dakotan frontier during the 1800s.

The musical, which opened at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, appears to have several differences from the tv show. Gone is the fictional town of Walnut Grove and replaced with the original Wilder setting of North Dakota. The role of Harriet Olsen seems to have been altered. She is not the typical, nosy busy body, who always seemed to have a knack for causing trouble (not unlike her daughter, Nellie) portrayed to hilarious delight on screen. However, the stage show does have at least one connection to its television predecessor that you can discover by reading the article here.

Personally, I’m not entirely sure that audiences will be as receptive to the stage show with such a drastic change to one of the television series’ supporting characters. Although the books were written in the 1930s-40s, I often found the role of Mrs. Olsen to be lacking when compared to her on-screen portrayal.

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