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New Line promises a rocking 'Evita'

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2010 - Sex, power and rock ‘n roll are the essential elements of New Line Theatre’s production of “Evita,” scheduled for July 8-31. Unlike the 1979 Broadway rendition, this presentation loses the violins and oversize chorus, and adds a focus on the love story between Eva Perón and the working people of Argentina.

According to New Line, Perón’s rise from small-town roots to international prominence has a parallel in modern life, with the careers of a diverse group including Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama — all beloved by fans and despised by opponents.

Artistic director Scott Miller is planning his “Evita” to be true to the 1976 concept album, which was more of a rock opera than the heavily orchestrated Broadway production. In his blog, Miller pledges that the musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be presented with “honest performances, genuine emotion and that sense of authenticity that comes from rock and roll.”

“What I hope we bring our audiences is what Rice really wrote: a show that presents both sides of the myth of Eva Peron and lets the audience choose sides,” Miller wrote. “Was she a saint, as the people believed? Was she a devil, as Che apparently thinks?”

The local “Evita” cast includes: Taylor Pietz as Eva Perón, John Sparger as Che, Todd Schaefer as Juan Perón, Zachary Allen Farmer as Agustin Migaldi and Terrie Carolan as Peron's mistress, with a production staff consisting of director Scott Miller, assistant director Jake, choreographer Robin Berger, costume designer Thom Crain, scenic designer Todd Schaefer, lighting designer Kenneth Zinkl and sound designer Robert Healey.

Nancy Fowler Larson regularly writes about theater for the Beacon. 

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.

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