The Indianapolis Civic Theatre kicked off its 2009/2010 season with a big Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, but not with a Midwest regular like "Phantom of the Opera" or "Cats." Instead the ICT chose "Evita," the story of a real woman from Argentina who became an icon to her country during her short life.
Evita, whose real name was Eva Perón, lived a rags-to-riches, fairy tale life. Though her country was racked with rebellion and discontent, she managed to climb the society ladder from her start in a poor family to becoming the country's first lady. She married Argentina's president, Juan Perón, and won over the people's hearts with her political activism.
The choreography and costumes were two stand out elements in this show. Each scene was filled with constant movement, making the most mundane scene fascinating with delicate dances between the characters. The costumes captured the 1930s glamour and poverty. There were glorious hats, gloves and gowns next to labor workers' kerchiefs and peasant skirts.
Philip Christiansen's played President Juan Perón, a role that seemed simple at first, but his quiet portrayal brought a calming balance to Evita's overwhelming presence. Christiansen made Perón love for his wife evident in his attentive concern for her health and happiness and continual defense of her within the ranks of his military.
Mikayla Anne Reed stars as the legendary Evita. The talented actress embraces each stage of Evita's transformation with a grace and intensity that leaves audience members both enthralled with the performance and curious to learn more about the enigmatic woman. During her time of infamy she was called both a saint and a whore. She was lauded as a savior and condemned as a manipulator. Reed doesn't shy away from any of these labels. Instead she shows what Evita truly was, a multi-faceted woman driven by a fierce ambition and love for her country.
The result is a refreshing show that gives a glimpse into Evita's short life and her lasting impact on the world.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: Performances begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The show continues until March 29. The Indianapolis Civic Theatre is located at 3200 Cold Spring Road on the Marian College campus.
Tickets: Ticket prices start at $25 and can be purchased by calling (317) 923-4597 or visiting www.civictheatre.com.
The Indianapolis Civic Theatre has also just announced its 2010 season, which includes five new shows. The season includes the following shows,
"The Elephant Man" "The Wizard of Oz" "Bus Stop" "Carousel" "A Flea in Her Ear"
Two additional shows, "Camelot" and My Fair Lady," are sponsored by Duke Energy and will be performed for only a single weekend each.
For more information of to purchase tickets, visit www.civictheatre.org.
Photos courtesy of Aladin Images, Inc.