Evita -

April 11, 2011



Classic Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical Opens on April 21 at Culbreth Theatre


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – April 11, 2011 – The University of Virginia Drama Department is ending its 2010-2011 season with the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical, Evita.


Evita, directed by Robert Chapel, will be presented from April 21-22 and 27-30, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. and on April 30, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Single tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for students and $14 for seniors, U.Va. faculty, staff, and alumni association members.


Full-time U.Va. students may receive one free ticket to every performance of Evita. Free U.Va. student tickets must be reserved in advance and are not available on the day of a performance. For more information, contact the U.Va. Arts Box Office.


Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu or by calling 434-924-3376. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the U.Va. Arts Box Office (located in the lobby of the Culbreth Theatre building), Mondays through Fridays from noon until 5:00 p.m. A $3.50 processing fee applies to all Internet, phone and mail orders.


With its debut on London’s West End in 1978, Evita began what would become a worldwide musical theatre sensation, with its story of a woman who captured the imagination of the world with beauty, strength, power, presence and a single name. Evita combines politics, power and passion with an iconic and stirring score that continues to delight audiences more than 30 years later.


Evita chronicles Eva Peron’s rise from the streets of Buenos Aires to its loftiest heights of power, highlighting the trademark and unique combination of glamour, guile and greed that catapulted her to power and worldwide fame. Originally developed as a concept rock album, Evita was a crossover cultural sensation. The iconic anthem Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina helped make it the first musical since the Rodgers and Hammerstein era to top the pop charts.


Director Robert Chapel, who last did a production of the show in 1986, has been struck with its unique staying power, both in terms of its artistic quality and historical context. “One of the main questions you have to ask yourself when considering a show like this is do you have the voices to do this? And I realized that we definitely do. The ensemble has an enormous amount to do in this show. They are onstage 70-80 percent of the time, playing all kinds of different characters, and our ensemble is really outstanding.”


Chapel is equally pleased, he said, with his leads. “All four of our leads are really fine young actors and singers. Gracie Terzian as Evita and Gavin Rohrer as Che have an awful lot to do, an enormous amount of singing. Ali Stoner, who plays the mistress, sings one of the show’s most memorable songs, Another Suitcase in Another Hall, and also has done a splendid job as the show’s choreographer. Adam Smith, who graduated in 2009, is playing Peron and brings a maturity to the stage that we really needed.”


Chapel said that while the details are different, the story of a ruthless dictator’s fall also resonates with his cast and with today’s audiences. “Although the Perons did some good, this was a story of a terrible dictator who eventually fell. And while the situation today in the Middle East is different in that we are looking at popular uprisings versus, in this case, a military coup, I think it still resonates with the kinds of sweeping changes we are seeing in that region and beyond.”


The show’s historical context is expressed through creative use of sound and video, Chapel said. “This particular production has a significant amount of sound, video and pictures. So our Set Designer, Katie Springmann, along with Sound Designer, Michael Rasbury, found some incredible footage, and they have come up with fascinating photos that help put the whole thing in its proper perspective and add really exciting visual and aural elements to the show.”


As audiences around the world know, Evita is driven largely by its signature music and trademark dynamic look. The show’s music, Chapel said, is in the capable hands of his frequent collaborator Greg Harris, and its dynamic look, will come courtesy of Springmann and Costume Designer Janine McCabe, a former M.F.A. student at U.Va. who is now a professor at the College of Charleston, and Lighting Designer Dale Marshall.


While patrons will note that construction has begun on the new Ruth Caplin Theatre, the work will not impact travel to or from the show. Culbreth Road will remain open as will the parking garage (which is located alongside the theaters and continues to offer free parking) and the Drama Building.