Pittsburg Community Theatre unveils its latest production, “Evita,” this weekend running from July 23 through July 26, bringing the rock opera in boisterous and fantastic fashion to the stage.
The story is based on the life of Argentine actress Eva Perón — who is portrayed by three actresses in this production — who rose from humble beginnings with aspirations to being an actress to becoming a voice for her people in the country of Argentina.
Directed by Linden Little, the story begins in 1952 at a movie theater when the movie is interrupted and it’s announced that Eva Perón has died. The people break down and cry in despondency as the audience is then introduced to Che, who serves as a narrator and a frequent critic and antagonist of how wholesome Eva truly is.
Going back in time, the audience is then introduced to 15-year-old Eva Duarte in 1934, and played by Lyndsey Bowen. Bowen imbues the young Eva with spunk and sass as she undermines tango singer Agustin Magaldi and shows him and the audience she is a force to be reckoned with. Che details her rise in stardom by showing how many men she sleeps with to climb the social ladder until her career coincides with the political aspirations of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón.
It’s in this point of the story that Lacy Mikrut is introduced in the next stage of Eva’s life, the political life. She’s now married to Perón, who eventually becomes president, and Mikrut brings gravity to the role as she becomes a voice for the people and someone they adore.
As the political life takes its toll on Eva, Lisa Gerstenkorn takes on the role in Eva’s final years in life. Gerstenkorn brings the pipes to some of Eva’s standout songs and brings wisdom to the role as Eva fades away.
Many local area talents also bring their gifts to the production as Stella Hastings, a Pittsburg State University vocal instructor, offers wonderful contrasts to many of the play’s great songs, Megan Potter Gabehart, a music teacher from Girard, keeps the live orchestra boisterously playing, Kaye Lewis of Midwest Regional Ballet brings some beautiful choreography and Pittsburg designer Lisa Quinteros offers colorful and wonderful costumes that fit the era and region.
The production is impeccably directed by Little who keeps the storyline flowing smoothly while often bringing show-stopping moments as some of the songs just hit hard, such as “A New Argentina,” “High Flying Adored,” “And The Money Kept Rolling In” and Gerstenkorn’s “You Must Love Me.”
For Pittsburg Community Theatre, “Evita” is another notch in the win column for bringing the best of local talent to Pittsburg while entertaining the audience with song and dance, and inspiring through the good will that Eva Perón put forth in Argentina.
The show will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23 through Saturday, July 25, while also providing a 2 p.m. showing on both Saturday and Sunday, July 26.