‘Evita’ explores controversial life of Argentine political figure

Plenty of people will be trapped in an L-tryptophan torpor following this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

But not Caroline Bowman.

She and her fellow thespians will be singing and dancing up a storm in “Evita.”

The national tour of the 2012 Broadway revival begins an eight-performance run Tuesday in The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall.

Bowman, who plays “Evita” herself, alias Argentine political leader Eva Peron, says she’s “really excited” about the prospect of spending Turkey Day in Sin City. “Everybody’s joking about eating turkey and gambling on Thanksgiving.”

Before the performance, that is.

Once the curtain goes up and they’re onstage, they’re no longer in 2013 Las Vegas.

They — and the audience watching them — are transported to the 1940s and ’50s Argentina, courtesy of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, as the Tony-winning “Evita” traces its title character’s meteoric rise from obscurity to star status in her native Argentina and beyond.

Offering sardonic commentary along the way: the fiery Che, who’s portrayed by Josh Young, a Tony nominee for his Broadway debut playing Judas in the 2012 revival of another Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Serving as the musical’s one-man Greek chorus, Che’s not quite as entranced by Evita as his fellow citizens seem to be.

For example, “Evita’s” title character sings of her devotion to her people, claiming she’s “ordinary, unimportant, and undeserving of such attention unless we all are — I think we all are.” But Che counters with the accusation that “you let down your people, Evita,” claiming “she didn’t say much, but she said it loud.”

Don’t ask Bowman whether “Evita’s” Eva Peron ultimately deserves more adulation than scorn, however.

“I think that’s what’s lovely about the show,” she says during a telephone interview from the tour’s Los Angeles stop. “It’s up to the audience to decide how they feel about her.”

Bowman has already decided, commenting that “I don’t think all of her actions are coming from a vindictive” place.

Acknowledging that “she was a pretty expert manipulator” and “knew how to get what she wanted — with sex and her skills as an actress,” Bowman adds that “Evita’s” Eva Peron “seems so genuine,” despite the fact that she was “very flawed.”

After all, “going from the slums to the most powerful woman” in her country remains “an incredibly fascinating story,” the actress says. And thanks to the musical’s “inside view” of her rise and fall, “you see who she was — a young woman, uneducated,” who “believed she deserved more, and wanted more, and she made it happen.”

Of course, Evita’s not the only major player in “Evita.”

In addition to Che, who serves as the audience’s guide, there’s Juan Peron (played by Sean MacLaughlin), an ambitious military man climbing Argentina’s political ladder — a climb made considerably easier after he and Evita team up in their quest for “A New Argentina.”

Overall, “we’re all telling the same story,” Bowman says of “Evita’s” three major characters. “It’s cool to see the shifts in power” as the tale progresses.

Beyond “Evita’s” focus on political ambition, another element underlines what Bowman sees as the show’s continuing relevance: its portrait of a beloved public figure who becomes an international celebrity, only to die at the height of her fame.

In Eva Peron’s case, cancer struck her down at age 33. But her rise-and-fall saga carries echoes of subsequent figures such as Britain’s ill-fated Princess Diana.

Or, as Che sings, “High flying, adored, so young, the instant queen … did you believe in your wildest moments all this would be yours, that you’d become the lady of them all?”

Such “lyrics are so poignant — and it’s so relevant to today,” Bowman says. “Fame is fleeting — it’s over before it starts.”

Playing such a compelling character has its challenges, she notes, especially “to have enough energy to do the show (multiple) times a week,” in part because she “barely ever leaves the stage.”

To Bowman, “it’s all about building stamina and endurance, figuring out how to do the same show Saturday night that you did on Tuesday night,” she says.

In addition to getting “a ton of sleep,” Bowman works out and does yoga regularly. And even if she misses an exercise session, “the show is certainly a workout,” she says. “I really have to get myself revved up to do this.”

As a result, “I’m very hyper before the show starts,” Bowman says. And “by the end of the show,” when Eva’s suffering from the cancer that would kill her, “I’m exhausted anyway,” she acknowledges — which makes it even easier to convey Evita’s final illness.

But at least she’s only got one show to worry about these days.

During the three-month “Evita” tryout process, Bowman spent her days auditioning and her nights performing in the ensemble of another Tony-winning musical “Kinky Boots.” (The latter launches its own national tour at The Smith Center next year.)

It was “a tough show to leave,” Bowman says of “Kinky Boots,” noting that the creative team — director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, writer Harvey Fierstein and composer Cyndi Lauper — “knew I had to come and do this role.”

Even so, “when you do a revival, you have to have a reason for doing it,” Bowman says.

And in “Evita’s” case, that reason involves “trying to strip it down and make it really authentic,” she says. “It’s all so simple. It’s about the story.”

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like