|By TOM JOZWIK - Special to TimeOut||
July 10, 2014
Patrons of the community theater group Theatre on Main in Oconomowoc,
will be transported to Argentina during the next three weeks as “Evita,”
the musical story of Argentine first lady Eva Peron, is staged.
“It is going to
be an outstanding show,” TOM managing director Kimm Mann predicted
in a media release. Added general manager Sandy Manfrin in a telephone
interview, “There’s some great choreography. The dancing will be
good (and) the singing will be good” in a production that will be
“definitely fine for teenagers,” as well as their elders, to take
in. “Evita” starts Friday.
play features music (highlighted by “Don’t Cry for Me
Argentina”) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. “Webber
has always been a crowd favorite, with ‘Evita’ being one of his
best,” Mann noted.
being directed by Oconomowoc native son Zach Woods. TOM followers may
well recognize the director’s name, since Woods starred in another
Webber-Rice collaboration, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” last year.
Woods, having graduated from Oconomowoc High School, obtained a degree
in musical theater from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
First staged in
London, “Evita” traces its roots to a 1976 rock opera album. The
play’s original British run, helmed by the American director Harold
Prince and commencing in 1978, lasted for more than 3,000 performances
over eight years. The musical had its Broadway debut in 1979 and
became the first British musical to win a Tony Award as Broadway’s
best. Patty LuPone was Broadway’s original Eva Peron, with Mandy
Patinkin playing opposite LuPone as the narrator, Che (a fictional
character not to be confused with Che Guevara).
The 1996 U.S.
feature film “Evita” starred Madonna and Antonio Banderas in the
roles LuPone and Patinkin had enacted. The aforementioned “Don’t
Cry” song has been covered by the likes of Karen Carpenter and
Locally, the cast
numbers approximately 16 members and is headed by TOM newcomers
Lindsay Woppert as Eva and Joe Gallo as Che. Also in what Mann has
called “an all-star cast” are Sean Duncan as Juan Peron,
Argentina’s president and Eva’s spouse, the other half of a
decidedly charismatic couple; and Jeff Anderson as Agustin Magaldi, a
singer who was known as “The Sentimental Voice of Buenos Aires.”
ballroom dancer Alicia Wright has been handling the choreography at
TOM, while Mark Carlstein is the musical director whose duties include
having charge of several instrumentalists.
“The story is
based, obviously, on history,” Manfrin said. The reality-rooted, if
not literal, retelling begins with the first lady’s funeral
following her death from cancer at age 33, then flashes back 18 years
and proceeds chronologically. The “Don’t Cry” melody is
recurrent during the play’s two-hour-plus running time (supplemented
by an intermission). All told, “Evita” is a mixed bag of musical
The musical by
Webber and Rice “is going to be our final (production after nine
years) in downtown Oconomowoc,” Mann pointed out. He called the
“Evita” cast “just a great bunch of people, all wanting to help
out the theater before we move. We are delighted they decided to do
this production as a benefit for the theater.”
“Tickets are going fast. I think everyone wants to see the final
performances at this location and help contribute toward our move.”
call for the community thespians to relocate to the Brown Street
Market Place strip center in the Town of Oconomowoc.
At a glance
Who: Theatre on
Main, Oconomowoc community theater company
the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical play
Where: 25 S. Main
through Sunday, July 18 through July 20, and July 24 through July 27;
4 p.m. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. other days
Tickets: $20 for
adults, $15 for seniors (62 and above) and students Website: