Complete Casting Announced for Asolo Rep's EVITA; Opens 11/14
Asolo Rep proudly announces complete casting for its production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning masterpiece EVITA. Directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes (Broadway: Bright Star, It Shoulda Been You, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, First Date; West End: Carousel, Sweeney Todd; Asolo Rep: Guys and Dolls), the musical previews November 14 - 17, opens November 18 and runs through December 30 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
Winner of seven Tony Awards, including best musical and best score, EVITA chronicles the electric rise and fall of Eva Perón, who used her beauty and charisma to climb from her poverty-stricken roots on the outskirts of Buenos Aires to become the powerful and polarizing First Lady of Argentina at the age of 27.
The previously announced acclaimed Puerto Rican recording artist and actress Ana Isabelle leads the all-star cast as Eva Perón, Argentina's magnetic and mesmerizing First Lady. Justin Gregory Lopez, who most recently portrayed Usnavi in Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights (Ordway Center) plays Che. Nick Duckart, whose regional credits include Usnavi in In the Heights (Actors Playhouse), and the world premiere of Carmen (Olney Theatre), plays Juan Perón. Gizel Jimenez, who plays Perón's Mistress, recently played Rosalia in the National Tour of West Side Story. Victor Souffrant, who was most recently seen in Orlando Shakespeare Theater's production of Man of La Mancha, plays Agustín Magaldi. Tori Bates (Asolo Rep: Josephine), who recently made history as the first bi-racial actress to play the lead in Annie, will be a member of the children's choir.
The cast also features Andrés Acosta, Enrique Brown, Juan Caballer, Sophia Cavalluzzi, Junior Cervila, Ben Chavez, Emma Diner, Mica Dominquez-Robinson, Guadalupe Garcia, Gabriela Gomez, Tori Lee Greenlaw, Kourtney Keitt, Caleb Marshall, Trina Mills, Ryan Modjeski, Brandon Michael Nase, Marina Pires, Kyle Ramon, Santina Umbach, Salvatore Vieira, Sharrod Williams, Kristin Yancy, and Alexa Ziff.
Director/choreographer Josh Rhodes received Outer Critics Circle Award, Astaire Award and Drama Desk Award nominations and an LA Critics Circle Award for his choreography of the hit Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. He also choreographed the Emmy-award winning production of Sweeney Todd. He received Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Award nominations for his choreography of Bright Star on Broadway.
"The most incredible part of this process has been finding the talent," said Director/Choreographer Josh Rhodes. "The score is extremely demanding and the scale of this production needs endless charisma from the actors - and this cast has enough talent and electrifying charisma to set the stage on fire. At its core, EVITA tells the story of high ambition and the price we pay to climb closer to the light. With the musical's design team, we have created a production that heightens the towering myth of an ambitious and passionate woman, while still allowing history and story to shine through."
The creative team includes Scenic Designer Paul Tate DePoo III (Asolo Rep: Josephine ); Costume Designer Brian C. Hemesath, a two-time Emmy Award winner, (SNL, Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, Asolo Rep: Guys and Dolls); Sound Designer Will Pickens (Broadway: M. Butterfly, Indecent, Dames At Sea, Honeymoon In Vegas,The Realistic Joneses, Bronx Bombers, A Time To Kill, Death of a Salesman); Lighting Designer Paul Miller (Broadway: Amazing Grace, The Illusionists, Legally Blonde, Freshly Squeezed, Laughing Room Only; Asolo Rep: Guys and Dolls, The Great Society, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and more); Music Director Sinai Tabak (Asolo Rep's Guys and Dolls, Josephine, Luck Be a Lady); and Projection Designer Alex Basco Koch (Broadway: Irena's Vow; Asolo Rep: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Josephine).
"With a cast of 29 and an orchestra of 12, this production will be one of the largest in Asolo Rep's history," said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "I could not be prouder of the diverse, talented, world class company of actors and artists we've assembled to bring this musical to life. With a creative team helmed by Broadway's brilliant Josh Rhodes and a cast led by triple threat Ana Isabelle, who fully embodies the passion of Evita on and off stage, we are thrilled to present a brand new production of this profoundly pertinent and moving musical."
Hailed as "An Artist to Watch" by Billboard magazine, Ana Isabelle shot to stardom as the winner of the popular Univision musical reality show Viva el Sueño, when more than 30 million viewers voted to crown her the next Latin music superstar. She has performed to sold-out stadiums throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including Madison Square Garden. Feature film roles include the upcoming Imprisoned, starring Laurence Fishburne, and the remake of Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13. Her Off-Broadway credits include the musical I Like it Like That with Tito Nieves.
Asolo Rep will proudly host a special Family Day at EVITA on Sunday, December 3, when families can take part in family-friendly activities that explore the world of the musical prior to the performance, experience the performance with discounted tickets, and join a post-performance discussion with the cast. Throughout Asolo Rep's run of EVITA, the theatre will provide more than 1,000 students access to the world-class production through student matinee performances and public performances.
Photo by John Revisky