Argentina doesn’t have to cry anymore, because the hit musical “Evita” is coming to Anchorage in a dazzling display of singing and dancing. Being the project of Theatre Artists United, the musical has a cast brimming with local talent that is both new and seasoned with experience.
For those who do not know of the musical, “Evita” is the tale of an Argentinean commoner from the country side (Eva Peron) who through a series of wild events pulls her way to the top of the political ladder, where she works to make life better for the commoners and the young folk of her country.
The story is told with the constant presence of Che Guevara, the character who seems the float in and out of everyone else’s lives, acting as a guide through the whole show.
“So, this story is kind of the narration somewhat told through Che. And he not only serves as a narrator, he kind of serves as the antagonist, the critic, the cynic of the government, of what [Eva] was doing,” Steven Alvarez, the actor playing Che and musical director of the show, said. The entire cast has been thrilled to be part of its production. When actors heard of the chance to be in on the musical, they flocked to it, like leading female singer and UAA graduate Bridget Sullivan.
“When I heard that we were actually doing “Evita” in town, I was like, that’s amazing. I’ve got to get into the show, even if I don’t get the role of Evita, which I would have loved, you know, which I wanted.’ It was something that I definitely had to do,” said Sullivan, who actually received the part of Evita (Eva Peron) in this production.
“It was a dream role, you know? It was one of those roles I hoped I would get the chance to play at some point in my life. I came close once in California, but
I didn’t quite get it so this is kind of a dream come true for me to be able to play this role,” Alvarez said.
The show contains brilliant scenes of humor and sadness, with the moods switching back and forth poetically through uses of dance and the nuances of the music. A fully able orchestra will be providing the music for the show, along with a seasoned piano player.
While the music keeps everything in rhythm, the well-choreographed dance routines promise to wow the audience with the busy stage of actors working around and off of each other to bring the whole show together.
But it is the musical talents of the actors involved that always make a musical, and this cast has plenty of it. The chorus sings strongly and in key, and the lyrics lilt out in an emotional tune everyone can enjoy.
Although this musical tends to draw in people for the lyrical aspect, the story behind it is something that should never be forgotten.
“I think what has immortalized [Eva] was the fact that she died young. She died of cancer at the age of 33, so she was a fairly young woman. She did a lot for young people, for the disenfranchised, for the poor, you know, for the working class. She laid a foundation and built hospitals and schools.” said Alvarez.
The most well known song of the show, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” is reminiscent of the young woman’s early death, and Sullivan sings it so sweetly and sorrowfully that the whole audience will remember why they came to see the show.
The show begins Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Alaska Center for Performing Arts.