BWW Review: EVITA is Rich in the Heart of her People at BJCC CONCERT HALL
40 years ago composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice brought to life the Grammy® Award-winning iconic pop-opera, "EVITA." This modern day standard include best loved songs including 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars', 'You Must Love Me' and 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall'. This weekend "Evita" opened at the BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham for a limited run.
This popular offering is a hybrid rock & opera musical interpretation of the life journey of actress turned 'spiritual leader of Argentina' Eva Peron (Yael Reich). The musical gives emotional momentum from her humble beginnings to her rise to power after marrying Argentine dictator Juan Peron (Gary Barton). The saturation of power, extraordinary wealth, and status grows heavy.
Yael Reich plays Eva with grace and sings with regal vocals. Gary Barton gives Juan Peron an entertaining forceful charm. Lance Galgon provides Che with a voice rich with spirit of the people. Director Andy Ferrara weaves the actors with energetic finesse. They all have rich chemistry. Ferrara's creative staging utilizes actual historical footage and images of the Peron's. The simple set works and plays well with a good-sized cast dancing and singing in unison. Expressive lighting, effective period costumes and set design are an additional highlight. Musical director Lloyd Cooper leads a strong orchestra. Cheryl Baxter-Ratliff's choreography flows with Latin flavor and notable moves associated with various levels in Argentina class structure
Sadly poor audio quality was a major concern during the opening performance Friday night. Right from the top of the show, the mic levels of the singers were noticeably low and the show had a muddy start as a result. It didn't seem to get better until going right into intermission.
"Evita" at the BJCC is creative production worth attending. Especially if you love history and are partial to the music of Webbers "Jesus Christ Superstar", and "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Directed by Andy Ferrara
The BJCC Concert Hall
2100 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Friday, January 18, 2019: 8 pm.
Saturday, January 19, 2019: (matinee) 2 pm. and 8 pm.
Sunday, January 20, 2019: 1 pm.