“Evita,” the epic musical of love and rise to power, opens tonight at the Lewiston Civic Theatre.The show tells the story of the first lady of Argentina, Eva Duarte Peron (co-played by Kelly Riddle, Clarkston and Amy Baker-Stout, Lewiston). Narrated by Che Guevera (Isaac Ryckeghem, Moscow), Eva begins as a fatherless young girl of the middle class in the 1930s, and follows a tango singer, Augustin Magaldi (Ethan Smith, Clarkston), to Buenos Aires. Eva climbs up the social ladder, soon catching the eye of Juan Peron (Ryan Murray, Lewiston) and the two fall madly in love, his mistress (Becci Tank, Lewiston) being quickly dismissed. They marry; Juan becomes president and she a beloved champion of the working class. Eva dies at the early age of 33.
“Her rise to power was amazing,” said “Evita” Director Fred Scheibe. “She was looked at by the union working class as a saint.”
That position made her a target by the military class and aristocracy, though it was ultimately cancer that took her life.
“Evita,” first released in 1976, is loved not just for its story, but for its music.
“The music in the show is phenomenal,” said Scheibe, citing the classic “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”
The show is accompanied by a full orchestra — the largest Scheibe has worked with for some time — and features a children’s chorus, which represents the many poor children Eva provided for through her charity work as the first lady. Scheibe notes the instrumental and vocal strength of the show.
“They have so many powerful numbers, their sound is really fantastic,” Sheibe said.
“It’s an inspiring show,” he added, though noting it is also heavy. “It’s not the usual light song and dance, though there’s lots of great dancing in it.”
Due to the political and adult themes in the story, along with some language, the show is rated PG-13.
If you go:
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday, May 28-30, June 4-6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 31 and June 7
WHERE: Lewiston Civic Theatre, 805 Sixth Ave.
COST: $16/adults, $13/seniors age 60 and older, $11/student with ID, $8/children 12 and younger. Tickets are available online at www.lctheatre.org or by calling the box office at (208) 746-3401.