Evita at The Pantages
The spirit of Eva Perón is personified in Caroline Bowman, who stars in the latest production of the musical Evita playing at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from Oct. 23 to Nov. 10. It is an incredible production that has a more subtle take on the powerful but tragic Eva, and more of an Argentine tango flair.
The Tony-winning show features soul-stirring Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice music, with the signature song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” and Bowman insists no one should cry for Eva “because she lived life on her terms. I admire her. She was part of the changes and struggle in her country, and history shows that the men did not like her because they could not accept a woman having that much power.”
After taking on the role, Bowman did research and discovered that Eva Perón was adored by her people as a champion of the poor, yet greed, ambition, and fragile health made her a tragic figure in history. “She started with nothing and took charge of her life, going to Buenos Aires at age 15. She sought a career as an actress, and later took charge of the country. That’s inspiring.”
Seeing Eva in a different light is the character of Che, played by Josh Young. Che is the observer who sees Evita cast her spell over Argentina. “She certainly bewitched an entire country. I think audiences will fall under her spell too,” Young predicts.
Che sees Eva for what she really is, “but she is many things,” says Young. “Is she benevolent, wanting to change things for the better, or does she manipulate and grab power for her own personal gain? From my character’s point of view, Che is struggling with those questions throughout the entire show.”
What keeps audiences coming back to Evita year after year? Young says, “It’s the incredible passionate music and her story, which is a rags to riches underdog story. Our captivating production especially taps into the Latin feel of the music and the dance, with the tango featured more than the original show, so it’s even more spectacular.” #
Twelve Angry Men at the Pasadena Playhouse
The classic courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men is playing the Pasadena Playhouse from Nov. 5 to Dec. 1. It is a powerful play that is relevant today, asking tough questions as members of a jury examine their prejudices as they sit in judgment of a man.
Thanks to the diverse stellar cast and brilliant direction by the Pasadena Playhouse’s artistic director Sheldon Epps, the drama will “fight the good fight, open our minds, and start an honest conversation long after you leave the theater,” says Juror Eight, Jason George, one of the twelve impressive actors in the show.
Also doing jury duty are Clinton Derricks Carroll as Juror Eleven (Dreamgirls), Scott Lowell as Juror One (Queer as Folk), Gregory North as Juror Three (Broadway’s The Secret Garden, Grand Hotel), Barry Pearl as Juror Seven (Broadway/The Pasadena Playhouse’s Baby It’s You!), Robert Picardo as Juror Four (Star Trek: Voyager), Adam J. Smith as Juror Twelve (Intimate Apparel), Jacques C. Smith as Juror Five (Oz), Bradford Tatum as Juror Ten (The Stoned Age), Adolphus Ward as Juror Nine (on stage in Driving Miss Daisy), Ellis Williams as Juror Six (The Pasadena Playhouse’s Jitney, TV’s The Hughleys), and Jeff Williams as Juror Two (TV’s Birdland, One Life to Live).
“No matter your background, you’ll see somebody on stage that reminds you of you. That’s the goal of the diverse cast,” says Jason George, a series regular on Mistresses, with Grey’s Anatomy, Eastwick, and Eli Stone, to his list of fine credits. “We’re here for a common cause and signed on to help further this conversation. That’s a responsibility we take very seriously, and we’re honored to do it,” George explains.
“This was written in the ’50s, but the situation of judging someone based on how they look has never gone away, and may never go away. But we’ve got to recognize we have prejudices and fight the good fight.” Go to www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org. #
Martha Graham at The Wallis
The renowned Martha Graham Dance Company (Janet Eilber, Artistic Director; LaRue Allen, Executive Director) a leader in contemporary dance since 1926, will be the inaugural attraction of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in the Bram Goldsmith Theater on November 8 and 9, 2013.
The Graham Company has designed a festive inaugural program for the debut of The Wallis that will be performed by the 19 world-class dancers of the Graham Company. The performance will highlight Graham’s beginnings in Los Angeles and showcase a range of her most popular masterworks. Prelude and Revolt, an event that uses dance, narration and media to chart the era of Graham’s revolutionary discoveries, opens the program and includes a performance of Graham’s iconic, signature solo Lamentation (1930), among other seminal works. Her comedic Maple Leaf Rag from 1990, the last work she choreographed, will also be part of the evening’s celebration, and her stunning masterwork, Chronicle from 1936 will close the evening. Go to www.thewallis.org. #