Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Evita Presented By Theo Ubique

Evita Presented By Theo Ubique

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Fred Anzevino
Music Direction by Ryan Brewster
Choreography by Brenda Didier
Produced by Theo Ubique in association with Michael James

Bold mounting of big musical at the intimate No Exit Café works delightfully.

Leave it to director Fred Anzevino and the creative staff at Theo Ubique for boldly mounting Evita on their miniscule stage in the No Exit Café. They have perfected their trademark “cabaret theatre” style taking storefront musical theatre up a notch or two. They have successfully mounted a most articulate and musically sound version of Webber & Rice’s pop opera, Evita. I heard and understood every word and I enjoyed Brenda Didier’s smartly stylish

choreography. The clarity and intimacy of Evita together with the fine performance from Chris Damiano (Che Guevara) made for a most entertaining show.

Evita at Theo Ubique
Evita at Theo Ubique

Maggie Portman, as Eva Peron, has the looks and acting chops to be a believable Evita despite her limited upper vocal range. Jeremy Trager’s Juan Peron was convincing while Jenny Lamb and Michael Wheelwright did terrific supporting work. I was impressed with the execution of the dancers in the ensemble: Amy Brophy, Nick Minas, Sarah Hayes, Ben Mason and Anthony Apodaca. Each ensemble player had fine movements and nice harmonies. Ryan Brewster (music director/keyboards), Cam McIntyre (Bass) and Kevin brown (Percussion) produced Webber’s score with verve.

Get to No Exit Café to see how a most innovative musical troupe can professionally take a big musical and scale it down to essence and still project the poignant story through excellent singing and dancing. No microphones, just fine natural singing and terrific dancing with outstanding acting—that’s a sure winner, especially in an intimate  setting. This is an in-your-face Evita with heart.

At the No Exit Cage, 6970 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL. Call 773-347-1109, Tickets $30 – $25 seniors – $20 Industry. Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm. Running time 2 hours, 20 minutes with intermission. Through June 27, 2009.

Highly recommended

Tom Williams
Jeff Recommended

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