Evita – the story of the glamorous first lady of Argentina, Eva Perón – will play in Auckland in May 2016.
Featuring some of the world’s best-loved musical theatre songs, including Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, this will be the first premiere musical theatre season to be staged at the Bruce Mason Centre since its relaunch by Auckland Live.
This critically acclaimed production will run for three weeks from 28 May. ecently described by the Dominion Post as “exceptional”, this production is presented by Amici in association with Auckland Music Theatre – the team behind the smash-hit Mamma Mia! and the upcoming season of Phantom of the Opera at The Civic Theatre.
Set in Buenos Aires between 1934-1952, Evita charts the rags-to-riches rise of the First Lady of Argentina, who won the love of her countrymen after marrying Argentine dictator Juan Peron.
Eva takes us on a journey from fatherless child to ambitious actress to the most powerful woman in Latin America – and, eventually, to a saint-like figure after her death from cancer at age 33. She will be played by award-winning New Zealand actress Heather Wilcock, who wowed Wellington audiences in the role.
“Heather Wilcock is mesmerising as Eva,” says Theatreview of her performance in Wellington. “She completely embodies this huge role with vocal precision and nuance, giving everything and more to and her character journey.”
Other recent credits include playing Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, Cathy in Auckland Musical Theatre’s production of The Last 5 Years, Hodel in Centrestage’s production of Fiddler on The Roof (NAPTA Nominated), as well as AMT’s production of Spring Awakening as Wendla (NAPTA Nominated).
The production features lavish costuming and sets designed by Stephen Robertson, brought to life with a cast of 46 performers assembled from throughout New Zealand.
“Stephen Robertson’s set design is magnificent,” says Theatreview.
The events in Eva’s life are presented in song and editorialised on by the show’s narrator, Che – played by Matt Pike whose credits include an international tours of Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats, a highlight playing Munkustrap for the ten year anniversary of Cats in Hamburg. Other credits include Miss Saigon (Engineer in the NZ premier Chch and Chris in Wellington); Cabaret (Emcee); Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris; Starlight Express (Electra); and Blood Brothers (Narrator).
Evita has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. Harold Prince staged the original London and New York productions. Elaine Paige earned an Olivier Award for creating the role in London. Patti LuPone, who starred in the 1979 Broadway staging, earned a Tony Award for her work alongside Tony winner Mandy Patinkin as Che. Evita also earned the 1980 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction.
Auckland Live’s director Robbie Macrae says it will be wonderful to see such a fabulous venue like the Bruce Mason Centre used for premiere theatre.
“This three-week season will provide a new beat for the heart of the North Shore,” he says. “It will bring benefits to businesses and the community alike. We would like residents to embrace it as their own and visitors to share in the experience.”