What's new, Washington, D.C.? A new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita begins performances at Shakespeare Theatre Company September 5 with opening night set for September 14. The already extended run will continue through October 15.
Sammi Cannold, soon to make her Broadway debut at the helm of How to Dance in Ohio, directs this new production of the rock opera. This iteration played a run at co-producer American Repertory Theater earlier this year, and is an expansion of ideas Cannold first explored in a 2019 staging at New York City Center.
Shereen Pimentel (West Side Story) is back in the title role after leading the A.R.T. run, opposite Gabriel Burrafato as Magaldi, Omar Lopez-Cepero as Che, Caesar Samayoa as Perón, Naomi Serrano as Mistress, and Eddie Gutiérrez as Young Cadet. Melissa Parra and Ariadne Rose share the role of Child.
The ensemble comprises Martin Almiron, Julian Alvarez, Adrienne Balducci, Leah Barsky, Bianca Bulgarelli, Camila Cardona, Melody Celatti, Esteban Domenichini, Rebecca Eichenberger, Sean Ewing, Nicole Fernandez-Coffaro, David Michael Garry, Eric Anthony Lopez, Jonatan Luján, Caleb Marshall-Villareal, Ilda Mason, Jeremiah Valentino Porter, Leonay Reina, and Alysia Velez. Rounding out the company as swings are Marissa Barragán, Jorge Guerra, Isabella Bria Lopez, and Ángel Lozada.
"With Hal Prince’s original production and ongoing research on the ground in Argentina as our north star, our phenomenal team and I will expand upon the ideas we began to explore at NYCC: examining Eva’s story from a female and Argentine perspective, portraying this woman as a humanized icon, and seeing Evita’s troubled teenage years as a dark, problematic backdrop lingering behind her dazzling 20s and 30s," shared Cannold in an earlier statement.
Cannold's creative team includes co-choreographers Emily Maltby and Argentine tango choreographer Valeria Solomonoff, music supervisor Kristen Blodgette, associate music supervisor Michael Patrick Walker, and music director Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh. Orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Lloyd Webber's originals.
The production also features scenic design by Jason Sherwood, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Connor Wang, and hair and wig design by Ashley Rae Callahan. Rebecca Aparicio is associate director and Claire Warden is intimacy director. Alfredo Macias is production stage manager with Derric Nolte and Marne Anderson as assistant stage managers. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy of the newly established Whitley Theatrical, and Nicholas Petrovich, Erica A. Hart, and Cindy Tolan. The revival is produced by arrangement with The Really Useful Group, and by special arrangement with No Guarantees.
Evita, which premiered in 1976 as a two-LP concept album, features a score with music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Rice. Hal Prince staged both the original London and New York productions of the musical, which made stars of Elaine Paige in London and Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone on Broadway. The score features such tunes as "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Buenos Aires," "A New Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall," "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You," and "Rainbow High." Madonna, Antonio Banderas, and Jonathan Pryce starred in a 1996 film version; Elena Roger headed the cast of the London and Broadway revivals, the latter with Ricky Martin.
See photos from the A.R.T. run below: