New Line Theatre's "Evita" Parallels Current US Politics

New Line Theatre, "the Bad Boy of Musical Theatre," closes its nineteenth season of provocative, adult, alternative musical theatre with the first St. Louis production in many years of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's political rock opera "Evita," running July 8-31, 2010, at the Washington University South Campus Theatre in St. Louis. Money, sex, power, fame – who knew they had a dark side?

Saint Louis, MO, June 07, 2010 --( New Line closes its 19th season with the brilliant political potboiler, the rock opera EVITA. And with this production, New Line will offer audiences a more intimate, more political, more rock and roll "Evita," based more on the original 1976 concept album than on the massive 1979 Broadway production. No violins and no giant chorus this time, just sex, power, and rock and roll. The original Broadway show focused on the story's spectacle, but seen through the lens of 2010, New Line's EVITA centers on the manipulations and the shallowness, the petty games and grudges that make politics a contact sport, that make people like Beck and Palin into celebrities, and that often leave The People behind.

EVITA tells the (somewhat fictionalized) story of Eva Peron, from her roots in a small town through her meteoric rise to international fame and infamy as the first lady of Argentina. Today, it's hard not to see her rise in parallel to our current political superstars like Beck, Palin, and Obama. Though Eva was a real historical figure, Tim Rice fashions her turbulent life into a rowdy, visceral, Shakespearean thriller of intrigue, deception, betrayal, greed, and power, a kind of monstrous Cinderella tale mixed with Richard III. With Evita, lyricist Tim Rice honed his smartass, acerbic bite, and Lloyd Webber wrote the most mature score of his career, still rooted firmly in rock and roll. Like Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar before it, EVITA is real rock opera.

The cast for New Line's EVITA includes Taylor Pietz (Eva), John Sparger (Che), Todd Schaefer (Peron), Zachary Allen Farmer (Migaldi), Terrie Carolan (Peron's Mistress), Aaron Allen, David Blake, Tyla Daniels, Mike Dowdy, Macia Noorman, Jeanitta Perkins, Eeyan Richardson, David Sajewich, Michelle Sauer, Kimi Short, and Christopher Strawhun. The production staff includes Scott Miller (director), Jake Fruend (asst. director), Robin Berger (choreographer), Thom Crain (costume designer), Todd Schaefer (scenic designer), Kenneth Zinkl (lighting designer), and Robert Healey (sound designer).

As they have since 2007, the New Liners are blogging about the process of putting this show together, and you can read the EVITA blogs on the New Line website.

Evita ran for 2,900 performances in London and over 1,500 performances on Broadway. It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won seven, including Best Musical and Best Score. It was nominated for ten Drama Desk Awards and won six, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, and Outstanding Music. It also won the NY Drama Critics Circle Award. In London, the show won four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. A Broadway revival of the show is planned for the 2011-2012 season.

New Line Theatre is a professional company dedicated to involving the people of the St. Louis region in the exploration and creation of daring, provocative, socially and politically relevant works of musical theatre. New Line receives funding from the Regional Arts Commission, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, and the Missouri Arts Council.

Evita runs July 8-31, 2010, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, at 8:00 p.m., at the Washington University South Campus Theatre (formerly CBC High School), 6501 Clayton Road, just east of Big Bend. This is not on the Washington University main campus. July 8 is a preview. All seating is general admission. Tickets are on sale now through all Metrotix outlets, including the Fox Theatre box office, the Edison Theatre box office, and select Schnucks stores, or by calling 314-534-1111. This show contains adult content.

For other information, visit New Line Theatre's full-service website at All programs are subject to change.

New Line Theatre
Scott Miller
Tickets through Metrotix, 314-534-1111