Story by Megan Sarnacki
Chosen as the “2015 Audience Musical Choice,” Evita was Circle Theatre’s first main stage production of the season. This modern rock musical based on actual events with music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice focused on the life of the former first lady of Argentina, Eva Perón.
Fleeing from the peasant class, Eva climbed her way to the top with fame and glory by her side, and many romantic encounters beneath her. After marrying Juan Perón, a colonel running for president, Eva becomes a national figure. Unaccepted by the aristocracy and military, but representing the poor and working class, Eva’s short life left a lasting effect on all of Argentina.
Evita proved to be a strong and professional production filled with mesmerizing music, charming personalities, and precise dancing. Jolene Frankey, who played the compelling Eva Perón, captivated the audience’s attention with her determined and complex character and enchanting vocals. Throughout the musical, Frankey’s powerful voice produced a vivid image of a woman’s influence on her people, highlighted in “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Other high points included a fun, fast dance number in “And The Money Kept Rolling In,” the realistic leadership of Todd Lewis who played Juan Perón, and the continuous high emotion from Derek Call, playing the narrator Che.
Even though the set design did not have much color, it was not needed because of the vibrant costumes that transformed the theatre into the country of Argentina. While it may not be considered a comedy, there were some laughs throughout the show, such as when the pretentious aristocrats strolled across the stage all clustered together in their fancy black and white outfits. In one of the last scenes of the show, “Montage” presented the dying Eva Perón with flashbacks of the major events in her life.
Overall, the whole experience of Evita was produced in a clear and influential way with fantastic songs, interesting characters, and entertaining dance numbers. Although Eva Perón may have made some controversial choices in her remarkable life, she loved her people and wanted to prove to opposing forces that a formerly poor woman could make a difference in the world.
Megan Sarnacki is a sophomore. She is interested in digital media and other fields of entertainment. She enjoys traveling, exercising, binge-watching Netflix, and spending time with family and friends.