FVCC Theatre Concludes Spring Season with One of Broadway's Most Challenging Plays
In the late 70’s, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice pieced together what will ultimately be known as their master collaboration, which in its original Broadway run grabbed seven Tony Awards and launched the career of miss Patti LuPone into stardom. It dominated in several revivals, multiple world tours and countless concerts, all compacting the musical genius of such songs as “High Flying, Adored”, “Buenos Aires”, and of course, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”. This absorbing rock opera was named “Evita,” and it is coming to the Flathead Valley Community College Theatre stage this April.
“Evita” chronicles the story of young Eva Peron, a lower-class girl with no prospects and nothing to offer. But when a chance encounter with a tango singer leads her to the big city, her life becomes a swirl of relationships that lead to one job, then to the next—and before long, movie stardom. This fame earns her a meeting with President-elect Juan Peron, with whom she marries and becomes the first lady of the country—only to bankrupt the government’s economy, amass great loads of wealth for herself, and be sainted by the very people of whom she destroyed without their knowing.
The show itself requires talent beyond talent, as nearly a cast of 40 sing, dance and act their way into immortality. In her recent autobiography, LuPone reminisced on the lead role of Peron as one of the most demanding in the course of her entire career. Reputedly, she did not speak during the course of rehearsals except when performing to save her voice for the demands that the role made on her. Not to mention the show’s principle male role and narrator, Che, was originated by Mandy Patinkin and comes with a mighty large pair of shoes to fill. Artistic Director and professional actor Joshua Kelly, who is studying theatre arts at FVCC, had quite the challenge of finding the right people for the job.
Local actress and Flathead High School alumna Kerri Javorka scored the lead role of Eva Peron (who would be known as Evita to her people) after Kelly saw her perform in Whitefish Theatre Company’s Production of Secret Garden a few months ago.
“I wasn’t going to pre-cast the role, but I knew when she came in she was going to blow the competition away,” Kelly said. “Our male leads, played by Greg Bortz, Shane Smith and Tony Hernandez are also phenomenal. They are some of the best talent I have seen in a long time.”
With five major principle roles, an ensemble of over 30 and a couple of children, the show is a powerhouse of vocal and human energy. Technical wonders abound as the set is comprised of a massive 10-foot steel structure representing the balcony of the Casa Rosada and brand new state-of-the-art LED theatrical lights are incorporated into the design. With so much to strive for, the artistic team of “Evita” has a lot to deliver before April performances—and it looks like the end result will be nothing short of fantastic. The incredible magnitude of the music, the epic scale of the story, and the sheer talent of the collected cast are immeasurable, and can only be described by reserving a seat in April to see for yourself.
“Every night in rehearsal I’m astounded to see what happens,” Kelly said. “I know audiences will be completely blown away.”
FVCC’s production of “Evita” will run April 15-30, performing only Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 senior citizens and free admission for all Flathead Valley students. Advanced tickets can be purchased at www.fvcc.edu/fvcctheatre, at the FVCC Bookstore or by calling 756-3814. Remaining tickets will be available at the FVCC Theatre box office one hour before showtime.
For more information, contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Theatre Office at 756-3962.