Dee Roscioli and Paulo Szot Open EVITA at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's highly anticipated production of Evita will open with record-breaking ticket sales at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa.
Advance ticket sales exceed 90% of the total 10,410-seat capacity for all 22 performances. The record-breaking sales now exceed the sales to date for the prior two seasons' musicals: West Side Story and Les Misérables.
"Because our mission is to reach the widest possible audience, filling our theatres with patrons is a wonderful thing," says Patrick Mulcahy, producing artistic director. "We hope our patrons get tickets in time so they will not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (as I did with the original cast of Hamilton)."
The production features a cast of 40, the largest ever at PSF.
Directed by PSF's Associate Artistic Director, Dennis Razze, Evita previews June 14 and 15, opens on June 16, and continues through July 2.
Leading the cast is Broadway veteran Dee Roscioli as Eva Peron, an extraordinary woman who rose from dismal poverty in rural Argentina to become the First Lady by the age of 27. Roscioli is best known for her long run as Elphaba on Broadway, and in the Chicago, San Francisco, and national touring productions of the hit musical Wicked. She has the distinction of playing the role in more performances in North America than any other actress. She was last seen at PSF as Mrs. Lovett in the 2012 production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
World-renowned baritone and Tony Award winner Paulo Szot will play Eva's husband, Argentinian military leader Colonel Juan Domingo Perón. Szot has appeared with numerous prestigious opera companies throughout Europe, the United States, and his native Brazil. In 2008 he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Emile De Becque in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater.
Dan Domenech will play Che, a member of the public who narrates the story with an obvious disdain for Eva's rise to power. Domenech is best known for starring in the role of Drew in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages and for his work on the Off-Broadway cult hit Heathers: the Musical. He's appeared on Fox television's Gotham and had a recurring role on the hit television series Glee.
Jason Forbach, who played Enjolras in the 2014 Tony Nominated Broadway revival and the 25th Anniversary National Tour of Les Misérables, will play the role of Eva Perón's first love, the tango singer Agustin Magaldi.
Juan Perón's mistress will be portrayed by Jerusha Cavazos, a competitive gymnast, dancer, and actress who has held leading roles in shows such as Aida, Ragtime, and Spring Awakening.
The principle actors are supported by an ensemble cast of 35 actors and actresses; and a full orchestra conducted by Nathan Diehl, who has conducted PSF's previous six musicals.
The show will be choreographed by Stephen Casey, whose PSF credits include last year's West Side Story, Les Misérables (2015), Fiddler on the Roof (2014), and many others.
Steve TenEyck, who boasts national and international set design credits, returns to PSF for his 12th season. Costume designs are by long-time PSF artist Lisa Zinni, who served as associate costume designer for Broadway's An American in Paris and School of Rock. Veteran lighting designer Eric T. Haugen returns to PSF after designing multiple shows Off-Broadway and around the country. Sound design is by Matt Kraus and projection design is by Ariana Knapp.
The artistic team includes production stage manager Christopher Kee Anaya-Gorman and assistant stage manager Carolyn Reich.
Alvin H. Butz is the production sponsor for Evita; production co-sponsor is Air Products.
David B. Rothrock and Patrina L. Rothrock are the 2017 season sponsors. Associate season sponsors are the Szarko Family, Harry C. Trexler Trust, and Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth.
Performances are Wednesday through Saturdays at 8PM; Tuesdays at 7PM; Sunday, June 18 at 7:30PM; 2:00PM matinees are Wednesday June 21and 28, Saturday June 24 and July 1, and Sunday June 18, 25, and July 2. An audio described performance is Wednesday, June 28 at 8pm.
Single tickets start at $25; youth, military, and group discounts are available.
The Festival's 26th season also includes: The Ice Princess (June 2 - August 5); The Hound of the Baskervilles (June 21-July 16); The Three Musketeers (July 12 - August 6); As You Like It (July 20-August 6); Troilus and Cressida (July 26-August 6); and Shakespeare for Kids (July 26-August 5).
One-night only events include a solo show by Dee Roscioli (Eva Perón) on Monday, July 31 at 7:30PM. Mike Eldred, PSF's returning concert artist and spectacular Jean Valjean in Les Misérables of 2015, and pianist and music director Jeff Steinberg (Count Basie and Maynard Ferguson Bands, Nashville and London Symphony Orchestras), will present an exciting evening of some of the most beloved tenor songs from Broadway, the American songbook and beyond on Monday, June 26 at 7:30PM.
PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for American theatre, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley.
For tickets, contact PSF at 610.282.WILL, ext. 1, or www.pashakespeare.org.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony-Award winning Broadway hit, follows the life of Eva Perón, an Argentine political leader and second wife of Argentine president Juan Peron. The story follows Eva's rise from an impoverished child to a woman of fame and power through a series of flashbacks.
About Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, Managing Director Casey Gallagher, and Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays all of which can all be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a greater range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks' time.
The Festival's award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests," is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.
Founded in 1992 and now the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF's mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, and from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. With 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 25 years, PSF has offered 161 total productions (69 Shakespeare), and entertained 850,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 38,000+ in attendance each summer season, plus another 15,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. In 2013, leaders of the world's premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival hosted the international STA Conference.
The Festival's vision is for world-class work.
Patrick Mulcahy (Producing Artistic Director) Since assuming leadership in 2003, Mulcahy has led PSF's return to artistic excellence and financial stability, built the professional company of artists, oversaw the quadrupling of the endowment, and achieved increasing national recognition for the Festival. Further accomplishments include PSF's first-ever awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and attracting a company of artists including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards to the Festival, growth in all income areas, a 75% increase in annual attendance, and the expansion of the number of Actors' Equity contracts per season. As a professional director, actor and fight director, credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, television, and radio. Mulcahy has acted with Angela Bassett, Peter MacNicol, HAl Holbrook, Joan Cusack, Don Cheadle, Anne Meara, Milo O'Shea, Cynthia Nixon, Tony Shaloub, Bradley Whitford, and others at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Roundabout Theatre Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Walnut St. He served as a fight director for Tom Hulse and Timothy Busfield in A Few Good Men on Broadway and for Off-Broadway productions starring John Savage, John Mahoney, Marcia Gay Harden, and Patrick Dempsey. He directed Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga in The Real Thing, and, for PSF, directed Julius Caesar (2016), Macbeth (2014), Hamlet (2011), Antony and Cleopatra (2009), The Winter's Tale (2007), Henry IV, Part I (2005), The Tempest (1999), and acted in and served as fight director for The Taming of the Shrew (1998) and Julius Caesar (1997). Also head of acting at DeSales, Patrick holds an MFA from Syracuse University.
DENNIS RAZZE (Director, and Associate Artistic Director, PSF) is the chairman of the theatre department of DeSales University, where he has been a faculty member for the last 33 years. He is also a founding member of PSF. Last summer, he directed PSF's critically acclaimed production of West Side Story. He has directed many of PSF's productions including Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, A Funny Thing...Forum, 1776, Cyrano de Bergerac, M. Fair Lady, Amadeus, Man of La Mancha, Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and As You Like It. Mr. Razze also composed musical scores for PSF's Cyrano, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He recently received the Arts Ovation Award for Performing Arts from the Arts Commission of the city of Allentown.
Stephen Casey (Choreographer,) PSF credits: West Side Story, Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Forum, and 1776. For Bristol Riverside Theatre, he choreographed Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha, Ragtime (Barrymore nomination), Pride and Prejudice, Rent, and Little Shop of Horrors (Barrymore nomination). For the Montgomery Theatre, he directed and choreographed The Sisters of Swing, Forever Plaid, The Great American Trailerpark Christmas Musical, Marry Me a Little, and The Musical of Musicals (Barrymore nomination). For West Virginia Public Theatre, he directed and choreographed Footloose, All Shook Up!, and The Who's Tommy, and choreographed Anything Goes and Dames at Sea. For Arizona Broadway Theatre he directed and choreographed A Christmas Story, Carousel, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, and next up, Saturday Night Fever. Numerous DSU Credits, favorites including Me and My Girl, Showtune, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
NATHAN DIEHL (Music Director, Conductor, Evita) returns to PSF for his seventh season as musical director having most recently conducted West Side Story and Les Misérables. At DeSales University, Nate has musical directed and conducted over a dozen Act I productions. As an educator, he serves on the vocal faculty of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. Nathan can also be seen playing accordion with the Irish pub band "The Rogue Diplomats," frequently appearing at Musikfest, Celtic Classic, and other venues.
PRINCIPAL ARTISTS BIOS:
Dan Domenech* (Che) is best known for starring in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages and for his work on the Off-Broadway cult hit Heathers: the Musical. He's also known for appearing on Fox television's Glee and Gotham. He went on to originate roles in the pre-Broadway runs of Wonderland and Sister Act: The Musical as well as donning 6 inch heels in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra theater in Toronto. Following his run in Evita, Domenech will be appearing with the Missouri Symphony on July 14th as part of the concert series Rock On. Other Theatre: Tarzan, Tarzan, Atlantis Theatre (Manila); Aladdin, Aladdin (Tuacahn Ampitheatre); Alter Boyz, Juan, (Musical Theatre West); The Who's Tommy, Tommy, (Media Theatre). Choreographer/Dancer, TV: Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Academy Awards, MTV Movie Awards. Film: Fame, Tropic Thunder, Semi Pro, Step Brothers.
JERUSHA CAVAZOS* (Perón's Mistress) is thrilled to be making her PSF debut as the Mistress in Evita. A competitive gymnast by trade, Jerusha came to know and love theatre in her early teen years and went on to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Central Florida. Credits include: "Aida" in Aida, "Sarah" in Ragtime, "Della" in The Gift of Magi, Kibibi in Festival of the Lion King, "Martha" in Spring Awakening and Dreamgirls. Jerusha is a proud member of AEA.
Jason Forbach* (Magaldi) Broadway: 2014 Revival Les Misérables (Enjolras); National Tour/Special Engagement: 25th Anniversary Les Misérables (Enjolras); The Phantom of the Opera (Las Vegas Co.); Off Broadway: The Music Teacher (The New Group), A.W.O.L. (59e59). Regional/Symphony: Shakespeare Theater Company, Sacramento Music Circus, 5th Avenue Theater, Kennedy Center, Paper Mill Playhouse, Carnegie Hall, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Boston Lyric Opera, and more. Recordings: A New Leading Man, Remembering to Dream, Revolutionary and An American Victory (Broadway Records).
Dee Roscioli* (Eva Perón) was most recently seen in John Kander's new musical KID VICTORY at the Vineyard Theatre directed by Liesl Tommy. Dee is best known for her record-breaking run as Elphaba in Wicked where she played the role on Broadway and across the US. Other credits: Fiddler on the Roof (2015 Broadway revival), Circus in Winter (Goodspeed Musicals), Love/Sick (written by John Cariani) Rock and Roll Refugee (Royal Family), Little Miss Sunshine (Second Stage dir by James Lapine), Murder Ballad (MTC workshop and NYSF production dir by Trip Cullman), and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. Dee has also sung with various symphonies around the world including the Philly Pops and will offer a concert at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival this summer.
Paulo Szot* (Juan Peron) is one of the most acclaimed and versatile baritones in the world, having garnered international acclaim as both an opera singer and an actor. Szot has appeared with many leading opera companies throughout Europe, the United States, and his native Brazil including Opera National de Paris, Teatro Royal de Madrid, Dutch National Opera, Opera Australia, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In 2008 he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Emile De Becque in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific. In the 2008-2009 season, Szot made his New York Philharmonic debut in a concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, appearing alongside Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, and Kelli O'Hara. In 2010-2011, he made his highly acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of The Nose, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Designer and Production Staff Bios:
CHRISTOPHER KEE ANAYA-GORMAN* (Production Stage Manager)Broadway: The Father with Frank Langella, The Gin Game with James Earl Jones. National Tours: Aladdin. NYC Credits: NY Fashion Week, On The Eve concert (Joe's Pub) and Orestes (New School Drama). Regional favorites: Baskerville (Cleveland Playhouse), The Importance of Being Earnest, Man of La Mancha (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Elmer Gantry (Signature Theatre) La Cage Aux Folles (Goodspeed Musicals), 50th Anniversary Greenshows (Utah Shakespeare Festival), The Kite Runner (Arizona Theatre Company).
Eric T. Haugen (Lighting Designer) In recent seasons, Eric has designed the lighting for some of the more memorable PSF productions such as: West Side Story, Les Misérables, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, King Lear, Amadeus, and M. Fair Lady, among others. His theatrical lighting has been seen Off-Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. Eric's Orlando, FL based company, Luminous Design Studios, provides lighting designs for television, themed entertainment, and architectural projects worldwide.
ARIANA KNAPP (Projections Designer) She just returned from Berkeley Rep where SenovvA supported the projection systems for the world premiere of Monsoon Wedding. Shakespeare festivals shaped Arianna's early career with time spent in Louisville KY, and the Champlain Shakespeare Festival in Vermont. She produced four shows for the Edenborough Fringe Festival. Arianna was the Artistic Director of North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) 2011-13, a 1500 seat regional theater in Massachusetts. She is Vice President of SenovvA, Inc.
Matt Kraus (Sound Designer) Broadway: Kristen Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway; Kathy Griffin Want's a Tony; Liza's at the Palace...!. Off Broadway: Dinner with the Boys; 50 Shades the Musical Parody; Forbidden Broadway; Fat Camp; VOCA PEOPLE; Forever Dusty. Elsewhere: World Goes Round (Bucks County Playhouse); Lend Me a Tenor, Newsies (Paper Mill Playhouse); The Buddy Holly Story (Walnut St); Absinthe (Caesar's Vegas); Audio Coordinator for remote shoots of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Steve TenEyck (Set Designer) Design work: Dallas Theatre Center, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, TACT NYC, Big Art Group, Tri-Cities Opera, Madison Opera, Syracuse Opera, Anchorage Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, The Kitchen Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Hope on Stage and The Hangar Theatre. Steve is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and teaches design at Ithaca College in New York.Lisa Zinni (Costume Designer) many seasons at PSF. Favorites include: Les Misérables, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antony and Cleopatra. Regional: How to Succeed in Business, Grease (Walnut Street); Pericles, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, King Lear (Orlando Shakespeare); Lizzie: the Lizzie Borden Musical (TUTS Houston TX). The Arden, Two River, People's Light, Riverside Theatre Vero Beach, Bristol Riverside, Syracuse Stage, Roundabout. Broadway: Associate Costume Designer Cats, School of Rock, The Glass Menagerie, The Play That Goes Wrong, An American in Paris, A Christmas Story the Musical, Hair and Rent.