For generations, Laura Ingalls Wilder's 1935 novel " Little House on the Prairie: The Musical" has stolen the hearts of children everywhere. Although considered a classic, many youngsters of today don't know the tale, but now metro families can experience the author's Midwestern memories onstage in the form of a musical.
"Little House on the Prairie: The Musical" stages today through Sunday at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker.
Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura in the TV series for 10 years, returns for the musical as Ma, and Kate Loprest, who's starred in productions like "Hairspray" and "Sarah, Plain and Tall," takes the stage as Laura's rival, Nellie.
The story of the Ingalls family's struggles is especially immersive, given current economic circumstances, Loprest said.
"This isn't a spectacle show. This is a show about heart and about work and family," she said.
The "Little House on the Prairie" musical is heavily based on Wilder's series, specifically the books depicting the Ingalls' life in North Dakota and Minnesota. During this part of the story, the main character falls in love and meets Nellie, a vulnerable antagonist.
"I've had a lot of people tell me, 'You play a lot of persnickety blondes,' and I do," Loprest said with a laugh. "But I can't play anybody that I don't like or that I can't understand."
Along with fun, relatable characters, she said the show is unique because it focuses on the importance of family, both on and off the stage.
"Little House on the Prairie: The Musical" stages 7:30 p.m. today and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20-$50.