Friday, November 18, 2011

Flashback: Brampton Music Society's 'Evita', Fall 1991

Company: Brampton Musical Society (currently Brampton Music Theatre)
Production: Evita, Fall 1991

This was my very first musical at the impressionable age of eleven - and what subject matter!  This community theatre production ran a full two weeks, if I remember correctly, at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre in Brampton - this was pre-Rose Theatre days, before the idea was even conceived at the time.  My father - in the General's Chorus, to the left of the nun - managed to get us auditions for the orphaned children's chorus that sing to Evita in thanks for her charity and goodness and all that good stuff orphans appreciate.  My brother, D'Arcy - he's inspecting his toes, front row left - was the smallest of the group, earning him the opportunity to present 'Santa Evita' with a bouquet of flowers.  I remember one performance him turning to the audience and waving, 'hello!'.  He was only six or so at the time, so it's forgivable, I guess.  Adds to the cute factor, no?

I remember being most mesmerized by the role of Che, the narrator of the musical.  I loved the character's songs the most; they were aggressive, energetic, and it was a character that consistently broke the fourth wall.  What I enjoyed the most is that the character almost seemed a neutral yet spiteful voice of reason to Eva while her life whipped in a whirlwind around her.  The voice was constantly there, maybe it was her desire for the people to understand her, the reasoning to exist inside her opulence whilst her people suffered.  It was a complicated role, that it is a complicated culmination of how Eva was perceived by the people that were the most critical, yet most protective of her.  That's how Che seems to me.  At least, if I ever got the chance, that's how I'd portray the character.

Forget Eva Peron.  I'm not too sure I'm pretty enough, but I've got a few friends whom I could recommend to you.  Che's got all the good stuff.  I would love the chance to play Che in this production, and I'm pretty sure I'd do it justice.  I'm only 5'2, but I'm bigger than I actually appear.  :)

This remains to be my favourite musical, and Julie Covington is my Evita - I learned the concept album first before I even listened to Patti LuPone's American Cast recording.  Lemme just tell you - I can tell she didn't like it.  I love Patti, and she knows she's indispensable, but if someone's not committed to the work, sometimes it can really tell.  I skip her on occasion and just listen to Mandy Patinkin as Che.  That man's voice soars.

So, enjoy some tasty picks from the two that should have been, whilst I stroll down memory lane and dream of another trip to New York City to see the new Broadway revival - Ricky Martin as Che!

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