Having seen a touring company of Evita many years ago, I couldn’t wait to find out how Broadway Palm would handle such a big production. What I found was that watching the spectacle unfold from the closer perspective of a relatively small venue gave me an even greater appreciation.
The two leads, April Monte as Eva and Mark Alpert as Che, spit out Tim Rice’s reams of fast paced lyrics with stunningly precise articulation. And what do those biting lyrics reveal? An elite ruling class looking down its collective nose at an outsider, money flooding into a charitable foundation with only a trickle reaching its intended recipients, potential leaders of government playing an increasingly frantic game of musical chairs to see which one can seize power. Does the phrase “ripped from the headlines” ring a bell?
Chris Trimboli and James Rio give solid performances as Magaldi, Eva’s first stepping stone to fame, and Peron, her last. Sarah Cammarata has a sweet, clear voice as Peron’s mistress, kicked to the curb when Eva moves in.
The action on stage was Dancing with the Stars meets My Fair Lady meets West Side Story meets Les Miz. With limited space and lots of people to move around, choreographer Amy Marie McCleary did a great job using an eclectic mix of styles. Kudos also to costume designer John P. White. Eva on the balcony in that iconic jewel encrusted white ball gown is breathtaking. I got a chuckle from Eva’s literal revolving door of lovers courtesy of scenic designer Evan Adamson.
Will Prather made a brilliant choice to run this show at the height of our election circus. It runs until November 19. Call 239.278.4422.