For immediate release June 21, 2017
TONY AWARD-WINNING EVITA OPENS THURSDAY ON THE
TIMBER LAKE PLAYHOUSE STAGE
MOUNT CARROLL – Timber Lake Playhouse, the professional summer theatre of Northwest Illinois, will present Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock-opera masterpiece, Evita, June 29th through July 9th at the playhouse in rural Mount Carroll. Artistic Director James Beaudry, who staged last year’s sold out production of Titanic the Musical, directs and choreographs the epic story of Eva Peron, Argentina’s most famous and controversial first lady.
The musical, a true story of a working class girl who became a star at 22, First Lady at 26, and who died tragically at 33, was first released as a concept album in 1976, as the writers’ previous blockbuster, Jesus Christ Superstar, had been. It became a long running hit in London and on Broadway, making Patti LuPone a star. Madonna starred in a film adaptation in 1996.
Melissa Weyn, who previously starred as The Narrator in Rice and Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at TLP, returns from New York to play the title character. Working with director Beaudry, she and the design team have fashioned a multi-media-musical-spectacular about a woman who was revered as a saint to the working class, but mistrusted and maligned by the military and the aristocracy.
Chicago opera performer, Erik Dohner, makes his TLP debut as controversial Argentinian President, Juan Peron. Resident Performer Christopher Kelley plays narrator Che Guevara, based on the historical figure who came of age in Peron’s Argentina, before becoming the revolutionary figure he’s remembered as.
The musical, featuring songs like “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall,” follows Eva Peron from her impoverished childhood through her short, charismatic life to stardom, fame and virtual sainthood--in the eyes of the people of Argentina.
The immigrant country, which remained neutral for most of the world wars, was one of the wealthiest in the world when the Perons came to power in a peaceful revolution in 1945. Seven years later, the country was bankrupt, and Evita’s legacy became a tug of war between her supporters and her detractors.
Beaudry said of the musical, “Evita is not a typical subject for musical theatre, but it’s a fascinating story of a country trying to balance its moral voice with its economic voice. Argentina, like the United States, was comprised mostly of immigrant populations, and the power struggles and dreams of social mobility were fierce. The result is a remarkably timely, astonishingly performed musical about the ways we must work together as a people in order to navigate the politics of a country.
“Beyond politics, it’s the story of a woman who dared to assert her voice, perhaps in fear of one day being forgotten.”
The 2017 resident company of TLP completes the cast. The production will run for 11 performances only. There will be no performance on Tuesday, July 4th.
For show times and to purchase tickets, visit www.timberlakeplayhouse.org or call the Box Office at 815-244-2035. The Box Office is open every day from 10:00 – 3:00 and until intermission on days of performances. The playhouse is located at 8215 Black Oak Road in rural Mount Carroll.