A rags-to-riches tale of scandalous acts and a rise to fame and fortune is brought to life in OCU’s season finale musical, Evita.
Evita depicts the life of Eva Perón, the iconic first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the production was the first British show to win a Tony Award for Best Musical.
“Peron,” who talks her way to Buenos Aires, strategically makes her way up the social ladder from a fatherless child to a celebrated actress. She then becomes a powerful wife and first lady of Argentina when her lover is elected president. In the end, she questions the path she took with her life.
Madeline Grace Smith, music theater senior, who plays the role of “Peron’s mistress,” said the production will be her seventh and final show at OCU.
“I think this is the largest cast I have been a part of during my time at OCU,” she said. “This production is different because we have a phenomenal dance ensemble in addition to our crazy talented chorus.”
Students began music rehearsals the week before Spring Break and started staging the show as soon as they returned, with the direction of Dr. David Herendeen, director of opera and music theater.
The production features a 34-piece orchestra and a cast of 40.
“Everyone is doing such an amazing job and it’s amazing that Dr. Herendeen can fit everyone on stage,” Smith said.
Gabriella Ottersberg, music theater freshman, is part of the ensemble and said she is grateful to be part of such a talented cast.
“I love working with the cast, Dr. H and the entire artistic team,” she said. “My favorite part would have to be developing the story and the relationships from rehearsal to rehearsal until it all comes together in a beautiful musical piece.”
The music score features Latin rhythms, military marches and wistful ballads as “Evita” ascends to fame, fights off critics and attains near-sainthood after her death.
Alex Hebert and Sarah Feist, music theater juniors, share the title role of “Eva Peron.”
“I really love watching our ‘Evas’ sing ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,’” Smith said. “It’s such an iconic song and they give me goose-bumps every time.”
The performances are at 8 p.m. April 22-23, with a 3 p.m. matinee April 24 in Kirkpatrick Auditorium in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center.
Tickets range from $12 to $25 and are available at www.okcu.edu/tickets or 405-208-5227.