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Cast, Creative Team Announced for "Evita"

Performances March 20-29, 2020 in the beautiful Cabot Theatre

Milwaukee, Wis. (Feb. 18, 2020) — Skylight Music Theatre today announced the cast and creative team for the staged concert version of Evita, running March 20-29, 2020 in Skylight’s beautiful Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

This staged concert version is a special 10-performance limited run of the seven-time Tony Award-winning megawatt musical.  Instead of a fully staged production, this presentation focuses on the powerful music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice and the passionate performances by the 13 singers and nine-piece orchestra. Compelling moments in the story will be staged to ignite the audience's imagination about Eva Perón’s captivating life. It will be presented with minimal staging and limited costumes.

The story of Evita follows Eva Duarte and her meteoric rise from impoverished child to wife of Argentine president Juan Perón and, finally, to becoming the most powerful woman in Latin America.

Director Michelle Lopez-Rios to make Skylight Debut

Michelle Lopez-Rios will make her Skylight debut as director of Evita. Formerly the head of the BFA Acting program at UW-Milwaukee, Lopez-Rios now serves as Artistic Director of Chicago Playworks at The Theatre School at DePaul, where she is also a faculty member.

“The story of Eva Perón is fascinating,” said Lopez-Rios. “She was so loved, so hated and ultimately achieved a reputation as the most powerful woman in the contemporary world. With music as complex as the subject, the musical employs many styles including classical, tango, ballads and rock. How lucky am I to spend time with some of Milwaukee's finest artists to dig into a piece of history and the enigma that is Evita.”

Seven-time Tony Award-Winning Musical

Evita began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976 with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics and book by Tim Rice. Its success led to productions in London's West End in 1978, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical, and on Broadway a year later, where it was the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical. Followed by a series of professional tours and worldwide productions, a film adaptation of Evita was released in 1996 featuring Madonna as the title role. This is the first time Evita has been produced at Skylight.

“I think it is a perfect time for Skylight to be doing their first Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical,” said Artistic Director Michael Unger. “It is one of the first, great ‘British Invasion’ musicals. By focusing less on the production elements in this concert version, we can experience Webber and Rice’s amazing music and words on a very personal level – thereby establishing a pure and direct connection between material and audience. The score is an artful fusion of many styles in this musical based on the rags-to-Argentinian-first-lady story of Maria Eva Duarte de Perón.”

In 1980, Evita won a total of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Patti Lupone. Evita also won six Drama Desk Awards in 1980 including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Music. The show is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Wall Street Journal said Evita was “an impressive achievement” and NY Daily News called it “a great big touch of star quality.” Chicago Tribune called it “[an] audacious, thrilling musical” and Variety called it “dynamic.” Daily Mirror called it “a total triumph. A technical knockout, a magnificent earful, a visual triumph and a wow."

Staged concert version of Evita

Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lyrics by Tim Rice

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by Michelle Lopez-Rios

Music Director Kerry Bieneman

Recommended for ages 12 and up

 

EVITA CREATIVE TEAM

            Director................................................................................................... Michelle Lopez-Rios

            Music Director............................................................................................... Kerry Bieneman

            Choreographer....................................................................................................... Alicia Rice

            Costume Designer....................................................................................... Kristina Sneshkoff

            Sound Designer................................................................................................... Sun Hee Kil

           

EVITA CAST

            Eva Perón........................................................................................................ Rána Roman*

            Perón...........................................................................................................Andrew Varela* 

            Che............................................................................................................. Kevin Melendez*

            Perón’s Mistress........................................................................................... Ashley Rodriguez

            Magaldi........................................................................................................... Doug Clemons

            Young Performers....................................................................... Taylor Arnstein, Olivia Vitrano

Ensemble

Elizabeth Bivens-Logan, Cecilia Davis, Lydia Eiche, Jeremy Mossman, Adam Qutaishat, Shayne Steliga

*Denotes member of Actors' Equity Association

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Michelle Lopez-Rios (Director) is making her Skylight Music Theatre debut. Directing credits include Luchadora!, Jane of the Jungle (The Theatre School at DePaul), Chapatti (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre), The Mole Hill Stories (First Stage), Precious Lives: The Live Show (371 Productions), Enfrascada (Renaissance Theaterworks), One Hot Mexican Summer (or the summer I found out I was Mexican), Trip Through the Mind of a Crazy Mexican (Royal Mexican Players), Decaffeinated Tragedy (Bad Soviet Habits), Bienvenidos a Milwaukee (United Community Center) and many more university productions. Co-founder of the Royal Mexican Players, she and playwright Alvaro Saar Rios have taught workshops and created original works all over the country for more than a decade. She is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Kerry Bieneman (Music Director) is an active pianist, music director and singer throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Kerry was most recently seen at Skylight as Music Director and pianist for The Tales of Hoffmann. She has served as a voice professor at Lawrence University, UW-Milwaukee and Carthage College. She has worked as a private vocal coach and accompanist for Florentine Opera, Opera for the Young, The Milwaukee Rep, Waukesha Choral Union and Northwestern University. She is the Music Director for the Musical Mainstage shows at the Sunset Playhouse and the Choral Director of the KIDS from Wisconsin.

PRINCIPAL CAST BIOGRAPHIES

Rána Roman (Eva Perón) is a Milwaukee native and a proud graduate of Milwaukee High School of the Arts. Previous Skylight credits include Kiss Me, Kate (Lilli/Kate), Hot Mikado (Yum-Yum) and In the Heights (Nina). Most recently, Rána was seen at the Milwaukee Rep in A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Cratchit), at First Stage in On the Wings of a Mariposa (Mámi) and at Forward Theater of Madison in Life Sucks (Ella). She is also a member of the Advisory Company at Forward Theater.

Andrew Varela (Perón) has performed in Broadway and National Tour performances as Javert in the 25th Anniversary tour of Les Misérables, The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, Jean Valjean in Les Misérables, Sunday in the Park with George, Cats, Little Women: The Musical and South Pacific at Carnegie Hall. Skylight Music Theatre: Fred/Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, “Daddy” Warbucks in Annie, the title role in Sweeney Todd, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and Inspector Javert in Les Misérables.

Kevin Melendez (Che) is making his Skylight Music Theatre debut. His work in Chicago includes Destiny of Desire and Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at the Goodman Theater. His New York credits include The U.S. premiere of Ivan and the Dogs at Origin Theatre Company, Brendan at Fat Violet Theater, Midnight Madness as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival and The East Village Chronicles at the Metropolitan Playhouse. Regional highlights include LMNOP at Goodspeed Musicals and Around the World in 80 Days at Hangar Theater.

Ashley Rodriguez (Perón’s Mistress) is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and of the College of Lake County. Her past work includes Hattie in Kiss Me, Kate, Ensemble/Understudy in Urinetown, Lucy Harris in Jekyll & Hyde at College of Lake County, Alais in The Lion in Winter at Pride Theatre Company and Mimi in Rent at Lakeside Players.

Doug Clemons (Magaldi) Skylight productions include Hair (Claude), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), La Cage Aux Folles (Chantal), I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change (Man 2), Annie (Bert Healy) and Hairspray (Corny Collins). He has performed at Fireside Theatre, Northern Sky Theater, Milwaukee Opera Theater, First Stage and Third Avenue Playhouse. Regional and concert credits include the New York Musical Theater Festival, Chicago Musical Theater Festival, Utah Light Opera, Florentine Opera and backup vocals for Michael Bublé.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Performances of Evita are Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 29 in the Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee.

 BOX OFFICE

Tickets available at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, by calling (414) 291-7800, or visiting www.skylightmusictheatre.org

  • NOTE: Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.
  • Box Office hours are Noon - 6 p.m. The Box Office window is also open two hours prior to performances.
  • Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 299-4972 or email emilyf@skylightmusictheatre.org
  • If you have ADA needs please contact the Box Office (414) 291-7800 or Tickets@skylightmusictheatre.org.

For more information visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org or email info@skylightmusictheatre.org

SPECIAL EVENTS

Skylight Insights. Free in-depth discussions with special guests one hour before Wednesday and Sunday performances.

SKYLIGHT BAR & BISTRO

Skylight Bar & Bistro is located on the second floor of The Broadway Theatre Center. Open two hours before each performance featuring gourmet dining and fine wine by Indulge Wine Room. Reservations are recommended at www.skylightmusictheatre.org/bistro or by calling (414) 291-3773. Counter service is available without reservations.

PARKING VOUCHERS

Purchase $5 discounted parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office for use in the Historic Third Ward parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee Street (one block east and one block north). Vouchers are valid between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. for evening performances. Matinee vouchers are valid 12-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. Not valid for Wednesday matinees. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime and are not available during intermission. No refunds.

Skylight Music Theatre’s 2019-2020 Season is sponsored by the United Performing Arts Fund, the Wisconsin Arts Board and CAMPAC, the Milwaukee County Arts Fund.

About Skylight Music Theatre

Skylight Music Theatre celebrates its 60th anniversary during the 2019-2020 season. Skylight’s mission since 1959: To bring the full spectrum of music theatre works to a wide and diverse audience in celebration of the musical and theatrical arts and their reflection of the human condition. Skylight presents productions “Skylight Style” – bringing fresh approaches or interesting twists to music theatre works, creating meaningful connections, not only between the characters on stage but with the audience as well. The beautiful, intimate Cabot Theatre allows audiences to feel close to the powerful emotions on stage.


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    Cast, Creative Team Announced for "Evita"

    Performances March 20-29, 2020 in the beautiful Cabot Theatre Milwaukee, Wis. (Feb. 18, 2020) — Skylight Music Theatre today announced the cast and creative team for the staged concert version of Evita, running March 20-29, 2020 in Skylight’s beautiful...

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