Monday, September 15, 2014


Growing up in abject poverty, illegitimate, with no apparent advantages, Eva Peron transformed herself into a woman of power and prestige.  As the second wife of Argentina's president Juan Peron, she effectively ruled a nation.  With aspirations of being an actress, she developed a fascinating knack of seduction, a role she used over and over again to advance her position in society.  Eventually she used her beauty and charm and seduced an entire nation.

To uncover the tale of this high flying poseur, sail into the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts from Tuesday, September 23 to Sunday, September 28 for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's memorable musical "Evita."

The story begins on July 26, 1952, the fateful day Eva exits this world, as her heartbroken fans and faithful followers mourn the loss of their self-appointed queen.  The storyteller Che, an everyman of the working class, has no love lost feelings for her and turns the clock back to reveal all her layers and dreams of glory.

Che (Max Quinlan) introduces the teenage Eva (Caroline Bowman) and tracks her insidious trail as she promotes herself as an actress and singer, always in sight of the brass ring of fame.  Without any qualms, she trades her body for one more rung up society's ladder, using roles as a model, radio star and actress to get closer and closer to her goal.  Politics enters her focus sight with the ascension of Colonel Juan Peron (Sean McLaughlin) to the military stage.  She entangles her life with his, convincing him "I'd Be Surprising Good For You."

Convincing Peron first, she then sets out to promote him to President, with herself by his side.  Initially rejected by high society, she succeeds in compelling the populace that she is a savior, a champion of the poor, in "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina."  The rest of her brief life is told in scenes of her travels to Europe and her reception back at home, from "Rainbow High" to "Eva's Final Lament."

Was she sinner or saint or somewhere in between?  "Evita" is a monumental tribute to the myths and mystery that swirl around her as dramatically directed by Michael Grandage.

For tickets ($21 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at
Performances are Tuesday - Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

As the First Lady of Argentina, Eva Peron, known affectionately as Evita, overcame great obstacles to achieve lofty heights, enduring tragedy and demonstrating passions along the way.

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