Mauricio Martinez Joins Kansas City Repertory Theatre's EVITA; Jenny Ashman to Step in for Broadway-Bound Mariand Torres

Kansas City Repertory Theatre has announced that celebrated Latin American film, television, and music star Mauricio will play the iconic role of Che in the musical Evita, directed by KC Rep Artistic Director Eric Rosen.

Not only does this mark his debut with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the role also marks Martinez's theatrical debut in the United States. Martinez is a well-known across Latin America as a leading performer on stage, film, and television. In Mexico City, his resume includes lead roles in productions of Beauty & The Beast, Saturday Night Fever, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity; premiere Spanish versions of Off Broadway's The Last 5 Years, Songs from an Unmade Bed, A View from the Bridge, and Toyer.

In film and television, Martinez stars in the upcoming The Curse of the Mayans, Lanzcyner Films (premieres worldwide winter 2016; Martinez also wrote and performs the theme song);"El Vato" (series, NBC Universo), "Señora Acero 2" (Telemundo in USA), "Bailando Por Un Sueño" (Mexico's 'Dancing with the Stars'); numerous telenovelas aired across the Americas and in the United States on Univision; "CLAP", "La Mujer del Vendaval", and "Atrévete A Soñar".

Martinez is also a musical artist, recording Latin Pop albums that are available in iTunes worldwide. He has his debut solo concert in New York City's Metropolitan Room later this fall, and is launching his third solo album.

"We could not be more excited to collaborate with Mauricio," says the production's director and the company's Artistic Director Eric Rosen. "Our production of EVITA is unique in many ways, reflecting on the charged current political environment in our own country by examining Argentina's past. To have an internationally celebrated Mexican actor of Mauricio's stature lead our production brings a unique perspective to the role, to the production, and to our audience."

In addition to Mauricio joining the EVITA cast, the Rep announced today that Mariand Torres, playing the role of Eva Peron, has just announced her Broadway debut in the production of In Transit, a new musical which begins previews November 10th at Broadway's Circle in the Square.

With this exciting news, Mariand will be joining the In Transit cast for rehearsals in September, and will perform in EVITA through September 18th. She will be replaced by celebrated actress Jenny Ashman, who recently played the role of Eva Peron in Opera North's production to rave reviews.

"Mariand was my first thought when casting EVITA, and our collaboration has been extraordinary," Rosen commented. "I'm so excited that we will open our production with Mariand, and that Jenny Ashman, an actor I have long admired, will be with us to take over the role for the final two weeks of the run. We couldn't be more proud when Rep actors have the opportunity to open a Broadway show, and are delighted that Ms. Ashman will be joining the company."

To learn more about Jenny Ashman, visit her website or Twitter page. For more information on Mauricio Martínez, check him out on Twitter @martinezmau and Facebook, or visit his website.

Evita begins Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 2, at KC Rep's mainstage Spencer Theatre, located on the UMKC campus. Travel back to the times of revered Argentine icon, Eva Peron. The Tony Award-winning rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice uses playful storytelling to explore serious social topics. This iconic musical telling of the rise of Peronism in Argentina explores the dynamics of populism explored through the dynamic and extraordinary rise of a political icon, and how her legacy shapes South American politics sixty years later.

"During this extraordinary election cycle, our production of EVITA examines the present by exploring the not-too-distant past of post WWII South American politics. The revolution of Peronism has remarkable resonance with the events of this political season, from the force of populism, nationalism, and the impact of income inequality to the rise of powerful women and political outsiders. The darker truth of populism and its historical relationship to fascism underpins the show and our production," says Rosen.

Press night is scheduled for Opening Night Friday, September 16. Tickets to Evita start at $25. For 2016-17 season subscription and ticket information, contact the Box Office at 816.235.2700 or visit www.KCRep.org.

Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation's creative crossroads. KC Rep's mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region's creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. KC Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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