I can't think of a better way to start talking about the arts a little more specifically than to insist you all drop whatever you're doing and go see MusicalFare's production of Evita. It's currently playing on their stage at Daemon College, and runs a week into August.
I was lucky enough to land tickets for their opening night performance, and I'm so glad I went. Everything impressed me: from the set and light design to the live music, from the technically and aesthetically beautiful costumes to the intricate choreography. And every member of the cast left their mark. Good Lord, some of the chorus members spent the entire damn show onstage, each playing a dozen different characters. And they never once made me think it was work.
My mind keeps going back, though, to Michele Marie Roberts. As Eva Peròn, she's incredible.
Michele can sing and act, but her portrayal of Evita is more than that. She demands your attention, your belief in the character. Neil Garvey would have said "She's got presence."
I never saw Patti Lupone's version, but I can't imagine enjoying the part any more than I do now. Michele's officially the definitive Evita in my mind.
(Yeah, you heard me, Madonna. Step it up.)
And she's not alone. Paschal Frisina and John Fredo are amazing and, as always, Marc Sacco was too. Marc is an incredible singer, yes, but the reason he's prefect for this part is the choices he made as an actor. His timing, especially opposite Michele, was damn fun to watch.
Finally, Randy Kramer, the show's director, and I nerded out at the post-show party about the history of Argentina and the parts of that very real story he brought to light onstage.
Evita at MusicalFare is worth your time and it's so exciting to see this kind of theater in Buffalo. It runs now through August 7th and you can get tickets and more information at their website.