Alt Ed Goes to Evita

Alternative Education Goes to Evita
Posted on 10/16/2019
Alternative Education Goes to EvitaOrlando Shakes’ Evita Captivates OCPS Students
by Sammyia Ansari, Trenton Hoskins, and Nathalie Zenon

On October 3, a group of enthusiastic OCPS students from the Alternative Education graduating sites were eagerly waiting for their chance to watch the creative performance of Evita at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater located at 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803. This musical was written by Tim Rice and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and follows Eva Peron’s infamous climb to power in mid-1900’s Argentina.

According to Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Study Guide, Evita is the historical account of a woman named Maria Eva Duarte De Peron, a fortuneless Argentinian girl who later grew up to become the famous wife of Argentina’s president Juan Peron. She predominantly showed her support for the poor and working class who voted them into office and in doing so became an enemy to the wealthy. This sparked her popularity among everyday Argentinians. The play shows us the determination and ruthless power of the Argentinian 20th century matriarch.
 A major theme of this play is the instability of power. Eva’s character was motivated by her desire to gain power, which she did by attracting powerful men and using them to climb the ladder of popularity and success. Opposite Eva is the dissatisfied Che, representing Argentina’s destitute lower class. Che reminds viewers that the people will demand to be heard when corruption abounds as he sings about how Eva was using these men for their power and her personal gain, even as she was ruling as the First Lady of Argentina, claiming to help the poor and down on their luck..  

Eva Peron, the heroine of the play, is motivated by her desire to make it to the top. Whether it be by acting or sleeping her way there, she was determined to make it. As she strove for more for herself, she met her husband, a general who she could mold into a president. Taking advantage of her skills, she managed to intrigue him and they used each other to make it to the top of the political ladder. Another important character who highlights the dark side of Eva’s dreams and ambitions is Che. He showed the side of Eva that stole from the rich and silenced anyone who opposed her. Additionally he showed how even though to the poor she may have seemed like she was doing good, she never really acted on her promises to help them and bring them up from poverty 

The role of Eva Peron was portrayed by actress Yael Reich, who did an amazing job of captivating the audience with her powerful vocals. She was great at conveying emotion clearly which led to a thorough enjoyment of the play as she clearly was loving every second of her time on stage. Another inspired performance was Dan Domenech’s portrayal of Eva’s foil, Che. Each time Eva had something positive or good to say about herself, Che was there to share the colorful truth behind her “glorious” actions.

The use of sound, lighting, set, and costume were very effective in telling the story of Evita. The sound helped set the mood of the scenes, and helped the audience follow along with the emotions depicted in the scene. One instance that stood out was during the opening scene when the people of Argentina find out and mourn the death of Eva Peron. The music was slower and set at a lower volume, expressing the great sorrow of Argentina..The sets was very detailed, bringing to life the locations and actions of each scene. The set changes were well rehearsed and seamless. The lighting worked hand and hand with the sound to help show the moods of the scene, being brighter in moments that were happy or of extreme significance and being duller during sadder moments. The detailed costumes made clear a character’s role was to the story, from wealthy high-born to impoverished low-born. 

Overall this review gives the play a 9 out of 10. Trenton gave the play a 9 out of 10 because it was completely captivating to the point that he would gladly watch it again and recommend it to others. His only issue was that he wasn’t aware of the politics underlying the story and had to read about it later to truly understand the play. Nathalie rated the play as a 9 out of 10 because while it was a beautiful and well produced play, there where many points where the timeline jumped and that got confusing. Sammyia agreed the play deserved a 9 out of 10 because while she very much enjoyed the show and would recommend it to others, there were parts that she didn't completely understand. It wasn't until she researched what the play was about that she felt fully able to understand the story.