BWW Reviews: Dazzling and Poignant EVITA at the Fox Theatre
I have to confess that other than the misguided movie that was made out of Evita, the only other presentation I'd seen was New Line Theatre's wonderfully intimate version a couple of years ago. So, I was curious as to how this show would play on a bigger venue's stage. I wasn't disappointed and you won't be either. The current production playing the Fox Theatre is a dazzling mixture of song (score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics and book by Tim Rice) and dance that's both engaging and thoroughly entertaining.
Eva Duarte grew up poor with a burning desire to be an actress on the stage. But she took on her biggest role came when she married Juan Peron, who became president of Argentina. Eva utilized her position to ruthlessly fight for a number of causes, and endeared herself to the people she served, with the exception of the upper class, before her untimely death at age 33.
Caroline Bowman does strong work as Eva Peron, proving herself to be both a capable singer and dancer. Sean MacLaughlin also contributes nicely as Juan Peron, and their work together is simply terrific, there's a distinct tinge of sadness in the musical's final scenes. Josh Young is also very good as Che, although in this version he's not meant to be Che Guevara, but instead a kind of voice of the working class. Christopher Johnstone (Magaldi) and Krystina Alabado (a former mistress of Juan) also bring vim and vigor to their roles.
Director Michael Grandage does splendid work realizing this production and he keeps the pace moving along at a good clip. He's aided in his efforts by Rob Ashford's choreography, which may well be the real star of this particular version of the show. This production also has more of a Latin feel to the score, and it includes "You Must Love Me", a song that was written specifically for the film version.
If you've never seen Evita before, or even if you have, the current production at the Fox Theatre is well worth your time and attention. It continues through October 20, 2013.