Review: EVITA at The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre At CMPAC

The production runs through February 24th.

By: Feb. 17, 2024
Review: EVITA at The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre At CMPAC
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Some may say that local productions of the Tony winning musical Evita are a dime a dozen. However, when you have a great production such as the one at the Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center (CMPAC), it is certainly a good idea to plan another visit. Currently running at the charming Oakdale venue through February 24th, the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber classic is superbly directed by CMPAC vet Ronald R. Greene III boasting an extraordinary cast. Besides the wonderful cast - also filled with CMPAC vets - you will become captivated by some of the most beautiful music that was created by Mr. Rice and Mr. Lloyd Webber.

The tale focuses on the life of Argentine force-to-be-reckoned-with Eva Perón centering on her rise through the political ladder over a period of eighteen years to her untimely death.

Exquisitely portraying Eva is Laura Laureano. I really could go on and on about her stunning voice, gripping speeches, fearless persona, and wonderful stage presence, but I'm just going to say that you will remember Ms. Laureano's Eva for quite some time. Additionally, Ms. Laureano gives an outstanding rendition of the iconic "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" and the entire company is powerful in "Montage" at the end of Act Two.

Eva meets and marries Colonel Juan Perón portrayed strongly by Jon Rivera. Indeed, Ms. Laureano and Mr. Rivera make a great team. Their rendition of "Dice Are Rolling" is powerful. An additional highlight of the stellar cast is Giovanni Marine who portrays Che, the show's narrator. Mr. Marine's performances of "Oh What a Circus" and "High Flying, Adored", the latter of which he sings with Ms. Laureano, is particularly well received by the enthusiastic audience. You will also be moved by Jasmine Recova, portraying the Mistress, as her voice soars on her emotional performance of "Another Suitcase in the Hall".

On the clever creative team, Mr. Green also created the wonderful, bi-level set and stunning costumes. You will absolutaly love Eva's "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" wedding gown-inspired dress. This is all beautifully elevated by John Vaiano's atmospheric lighting and Tim Haggerty's sound design. All in all, it a visually stunning production.

And so, it is quite clear that The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CM Performing Arts Center has a hit with their mounting of Evita. An inspired cast, beautiful music, and the bustling town of Oakdale make for a delightful night of theatre.