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Ana Isabelle (Evita) performs "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

Image: Kay Kipling

Members of the press and sponsors got a sneak peek of the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s season opener, Evita, Wednesday morning on the terrace of the Ca’d’Zan mansion on The Ringling grounds.

The Evita Media Tango event allowed attendees to mingle a bit with the cast and creative team of the show, which opens Nov. 18 and runs through Dec. 30 in the Mertz Theatre. Cast members (including six local youngsters performing in the show’s children’s choir) introduced themselves; producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards revealed this will be the first Asolo Rep production featuring the theater’s new state-of-the-art sound system; and director/choreographer Josh Rhodes (who helmed Guys and Dolls here last season) and music director Sinai Tabak also said a few words about their work on the production.

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Cast members introducing themselves to the audience

Image: Kay Kipling

Rhodes described the show (by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice), which focuses on the rise of controversial Argentinian first lady Eva Peron, as being about “ambition—both good ambition and bad ambition. In terms of mythology, it’s the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun.” He added that while he brings “metaphor” to the show, for authenticity when it comes to the Argentinian national dance, the tango, he turned to Junior Cervila and Guadalupe Garcia to faithfully replicate the movements as the tango team.

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Asolo Rep producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards

Image: Kay Kipling

But of course the highlights of the morning preview were renditions of songs from the show by Ana Isabelle as Evita (“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”) and Justin Gregory Lopez as Che, whose version of “And The Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)” led Edwards to quip that it was “the kickoff song for our capital campaign.”

You can watch snippets of those performances here; for tickets to the full production, call 351-8000 or visit asolorep.org.

 

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