Ken Davenport’s 10 Minute Play Competition

June 28, 2012
Sierra sang in Ken Davenport’s 10 Minute Play Competition, as part of Keni Fine and David Gross’ 10-minute musical “Imaginary Lovers”. More information about the announcement of the competition can be found at Ken Davenport’s The Producer’s Perspective Blog.

Booked: The 2012 MetroStar Challenge

I’m excited to say that I’ve been invited to be one of the 2012 MetroStar Challenge contestants! More information and crossed fingers to come, but for now please mark **Monday, July 16th** on your calendars – that’s when I sing one song as an “audition” to pass into the weekly challenge portion (July 30th – August 20th). And AUDIENCE VOTES COUNT – so please come on the 16th and all other future nights to cheer me on. Remember, the winner of this challenge at the end gets their own solo show at the Metropolitan Room, fully produced and recorded live for a CD (worth about $10,000), and the title of MetroStar Winner. Regardless of the outcome of the challenge, I look forward to bringing new songs to the audience, and to challenge myself to take the judges’ weekly input and advice to heart and take the experience as a learning one from the get-go!

More info: The 2012 MetroStar Talent Challenge, the fifth annual edition, takes place on seven consecutive Mondays from July 9 to August 20. All shows are all at 7pm; the cover charge for all shows is $20, with a two-drink minimum. Hailed as “the best of New York’s smaller clubs” by The New York Times, the Nightlife, MAC and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22nd Street. For reservations call 212/206-0440 or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com

Times Square Solstice Yoga: Mind Over Madness

In the past few years, I noticed each Summer solstice there occurs a Yoga day in Times Square – I think I read about it in one of the first TimeOut New Yorks I bought. I found this year I was able to participate on Wednesday, June 20th. It was a great afternoon, hot but in the shade, in the middle of Times Square (I was in the 42nd St-43rd St block). I discovered, as I did the “founders flow” all-level exercise, that even the noise of the traffic, sirens, tourist chatter, and other obnoxious sounds faded into the background of my mind. It was truly “mind over madness,” and I didn’t even realize the theme of the day’s activities until after I finished, got myself free water and yogurt, and went home. I highly recommend this for next year and any years that they hold this event!


Solstice in New York
“Mind Over Madness” was the theme by Athleta

Solstice in New York
Relaxing before the Founders Flow (all levels welcome) afternoon session

Solstice in New York
My POV doing Yoga

Solstice in Times Square
The big screen takes a picture of us, and I do of it!

Solstice in New York
My point of view from the ground.

Solstice in New York
Yogi Douglass Stewart takes a picture with his assistant yogis (he’s the man, front row center, in a white t-shirt).

Solstice in New York
Live Music

And now, a poem:

The Sun Is Gracious by Rafael Jesús González

——-(blessing in case of doubt)

Summer grasses grow
honey pelts upon the hills,
a pride of lions
napping in the solstice sun
easy and content, fulfilled.

So may it be with you,
unutterably sure, knowing
that gracious is the sun,
creating himself in you,
like a field of grasses
in flower, until they,
full grown, burst into seeds,
feathered envoys flung afar,
each a token that you are loved.

——© Rafael Jesús González 2008

Godspell on Broadway…Oh, Bless the Lord!

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This past Saturday, the 16th, I was invited by one of the Producers of Broadway’s Godspell to come see the show before it closed. I must admit, I felt guilty for not having seen it yet, as one of my friends from the original Los Angeles production of bare, Wallace Smith (he played Matt, I understudied Nadia and was in the ensemble), has been portraying Judas for the past 9 months! He’s also known for Broadway’s American Idiot, The Lion King, and Hair. He is a powerful performer with an incredible amount of grace, humor and vocal savvy. It was great to see him perform again.

Godspell the show itself is an odd duck. I performed in it (singing “Oh Bless the Lord”) at UCLA, wearing a dress covered in limes and lemons, and the show itself always felt lopsided. The first act is a lot of fun, and then the second act dives into heavy judgement and the actual story of Jesus being betrayed and crucified. To someone who isn’t a Christian, this always felt odd, both in performing it and watching it. That said, the production at the Circle in the Square theater is absolutely marvelous. And they are closing June 24th, so go see it now before it closes (tickets are low-priced on TDF).

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
What I appreciated about this production was the intimacy of the staging, direction, and involvement of the audience. Members of the audience became part of the production on stage during some moments, and the circular nature of the stage made the evening feel less like an event, but more like a “salon of the minds.” The ingenious simplicity of the stage (with everyday objects and trap doors revealing water and mini-trampolines) created surprises and instant dimensions to the oval playing field. I loved the fact that the band was dispersed throughout the audience (the rhythm guitarist was directly to my left by about 5 seats), except for the music director/conductor/pianist, who was embedded with his piano into the stage.

And the cast was one to want you would want to hang out with afterward – the direction and performances for this show have crafted a cast that is spontaneous, energetic, quick to respond to things around them, and multi-talented. Whether this has been well-rehearsed and carved into the show (ie, the improvisational moments were created and decided upon months ago), or if the moments are honestly “discovered” in the moment…well, it really doesn’t matter. Obviously, the cast and crew have been joyously relaxed into their roles as storytellers and creative collaborators that they bounce from one thing to the next with apparent truth and spontaneity. This works incredibly well with the moments when audience members become part of the parables, as characters or as “pictionary” players or set-dressing. And the script has been updated (as the script to Godspell should with every decade of new pop culture references) to include Trump, Romney, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and other political/pop culture figures. The parables become not old-hat teachings from a man dead by 2000 years, but more of a comment on the ethical choices we ourselves make on a day-to-day basis, and how our country is behaving as both a cultural model and world partner. For all its second-act faults, this is what Godspell should do – mirror ourselves even when quoting Biblical sayings to both believers and non-believers. To that extent, this high-energy production accomplished it successfully.

Then the topic of the music – oh boy! While there are some obvious songs that have become earworms (“Day by Day,” “O Bless The Lord,” “Light of the World”), I never have in the past left the theater remembering any of the other songs. This show’s arrangements of the music, however, tunes the modern ear towards the lyrics and portrays the songs in different genres. I loved “Turn Back O Man” as a 1960’s James Bond Theme, and the haunting “On The Willows” made more lyrical sense than ever before to me.

So, to close – see Godspell this week before it closes!

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A poster-wall inside the theater offered a photo and signing opportunity…
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So, I signed it “Bless The Lord UCLA ’99.” Call me cheeseball.
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The audience swarms the stage to feel a part of Broadway, and to have a glass of “wine.”
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Me and my “wine” (grape juice)

Self-Casting

A friend of mine, after reading my blog entries of all the Broadway shows I saw this past month, challenged me to take a look at these shows and self-cast myself in them. I took an honest look and came up with these conclusions:

The Best Man: In a few years more, I’d love to play Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamadge (Angela Lansbury’s part)
Clybourne Park: I’d love to do Betsy/Lindsey, the part who is pregnant thru the show. I’d love the challenge of being deaf on stage, and to have such a fiery attitude in the second act.
Nice Work if You Can Get It: The Dutchess Dulworth (in a few years). Hands down, no question.
Evita: While I’d love to revisit Eva, I’d definitely be cast in the non-dancing-but-vocally-challenging ensemble, hitting the high E’s during “And The Money Kept Rolling In”
Spider-Man: the Aunt May/Teacher/Ensemble track, and also Emily Osborn.

More musings: A while ago, during my acting-class days in The Beverly Hills Playhouse, my acting teacher told many of us that our careers wouldn’t take flight until after we “grow into” our casting. I’d like to think that, with my more mature voice and…ahem…zaftig figure, I will be picked up casting-wise in my later years for the more mature character roles. They certainly are the roles that I played in High School and college, and I always seem to be cast as the younger-version-of in current musicals. I’m actually looking forward to my future years as an actress, and if the late Kathryn Joosten‘s career teaches us, it’s never too late to start and one should never give up if one is passionate about this craft!

She did it her way.

The 2012 Tony Awards – thoughts and thrills

I watched the Tony Awards last Sunday night at a friend’s place on West 73rd. Nothing like getting off of the 1 train at 72nd, climbing up the stairs, and walking into a well-dressed crowd of attendees and seat-fillers, plus passers-bys taking pictures at the red carpet. I enjoyed the Tonys in general (was annoyed of the absence of the In Memoriam clip and Bernadette Peters’ acceptance speech missing from the broadcast. Certainly the Tonys have become a giant commercial (and rightly so) for Broadway (and now, apparently, cruise ship shows) and I thought they showcased some great options now on Broadway (and, sadly, already closed and soon-to-be-closing shows like Godspell, Venus in Fur, and Leap of Faith). It’s so disheartening that some shows close immediately after the Tony Awards, either because they didn’t win any awards or even despite winning awards! But I’m happy that creatively-fueled shows like Clybourne Park and Once won, and was thrilled that Judy Kaye nabbed one (see this blog entry for more on Judy Kaye).

After the Tony Awards, I left my friend’s West 73rd St apartment. I turned the corner from 73rd and, without giving away my exact location, found myself witnessing Isabelle Stevenson Award-Winner of the evening – Bernadette Peters herself – walking from her car into an apartment building! I was a bit stunned, but took in the moment of appreciation for this wonderful performer, and decided not to interrupt her evening. I smiled and took 10 more steps down the street, and then had the same experience with Tony Nominee James Earl Jones, whose tall and larger-than-life frame disappeared into the lobby of the building before I could say “ohmygoodnessthankyouforyourtalentyouweregreatinbestman
andofcourseyouredarthvaderhiyoureamazing.” I walked away from the West End Avenue area with flutters in my heart.

Thoughts on this event: there’s always a moment of consideration that goes through my mind after such innocent and fleeting interactions and I have to tell myself, “these are your future fellow employees and co-cast members, not Gods or icons to be put onto pedestals.” As artists, we can’t be afraid of our own brilliance, and since we are constantly gauging and doubting our talents we have to remember that these Titans of our craft started somewhere and are themselves constantly gauging their careers and creative choices. That night, Tony Winner Nina Arianda was floored that Christopher Plummer (who she had a crush on since she saw “The Sound of Music”) handed her her Award. We have all been there, so might as well assume that all actors/directors/singers are potential future creative partners.

On that thought, I’m throwing this out into the Universe: I would love to attend the 2013 Tony Awards!

“String,” “Prometheus,” Mark Janas, and the last tortuous pictures of amazing food, I swear

On Thursday June 7th, in order to complete the TWO WEEKS OF DECADENCE with the in-laws, my husband and I met them at Chez Napoleon, a favorite restaurant of theirs which we had no objections to eating at for their last evening in New York. Chez Napoleon is a family-run, authentic French restaurant on West 50th Street with delicately made and served dishes that taste wonderful. Definitely order a flavored soufflé when you order the rest of your meal, since it takes an hour to make and they cannot in any circumstance hurry the process along. In addition to a Lemon soufflé, I ordered the Moules “Napoléon” (Baked mussels with garlic butter and bread crumbs) as an appetizer, the Filet de Sole (Prepared meuniére-style, with butter & lemon, and almonds) for the main entreé, and some merlot (I love the merlot!!!). After I ate all this, I gasped my way to a Marquee Five rehearsal (we have a new Swing-themed show to put together).


This breaded and baked method of mussels is to die for.


Fillet de Sole – the toasted almonds were a great balance to the sweet fish


T minus 5 seconds until Lemon injection. 5…4…3…2…1…Lemon souffle has been injected!!! Liftoff!

The next day – Friday, June 8th – I was thrilled to perform in a staged reading of Adam Gwon and Sarah Hammond’s new musical “String.” As part of a 29-hour contract, we rehearsed for 29 hours this week and performed it in front of an audience at New Dramatists. The cast included Broadway alumni and National Tour masters, including some I had done readings with before. It was wonderful to hear the audience react to this bitter-sweet show, which is funny and which heartbreakingly discusses themes of life, death, fate, love and some of the most inexorable truths of this world. I really hope it gets a bigger audience and – ultimately – a Broadway stage!

My husband and I knew not to stay up too late that Friday night, as we had 9:30am (!) tickets to see Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” in IMAX 3D the next morning. Yup, we took some coffee to go and went to AMC’s Lincoln Center 13 to see Scott’s not-a-prequel-I-swear to the “Alien” franchise. The movie itself, in a quick-review nutshell, is gorgeous to look at and I enjoyed delving into the world of Alien (with Giger and Moebius designs taking a front seat), but ultimately I had the same issues as in this review (WARNING: SPOILERS!). It opened up a lot of questions but didn’t answer them with any grace or satisfaction. It did, however, tempt me to want to see a sequel of it (would that be a sequel-prequel to “Alien”?), and for that I give the movie complete thumbs up.

I went home, took a nap, then traveled to the Bohemian National Hall to sing with Marquee Five at Mark Janas’ 60th Birthday party and fundraiser. We sang our arrangements of “All That Jazz” and “Wonder Love” (a Stevie Wonder mashup off of our CD, “8-Track Throwback”), and I thrilled to see Broadway, Cabaret, and other music stars perform for Mark Janas’ benefit. I don’t know what the final tally was, but by the time I had left that evening, $20,000 had been raised for Mark’s recovery! That’s what I call a giving family!


The stage at the Bohemian National Hall

Still reeling from the world of Prometheus, Pete & I came home late Saturday night and spent the first few hours of Sunday eating popcorn and watching the original “Alien,” which still holds up beautifully after 30 years. We then slept in and I recovered enough to head out Sunday night to watch the Tony Awards at a friend’s house. But that’s another story and another blog entry…

Coming up: the 2012 Tony Awards!

Venus would like to get back in her skinny blue jeans – AMNHx2, Birthdays, Shake Shack and FEAR

In addition to being a singer/actress/director/puppeteer, I’m also a geek, which comes to mean in my mind a passion for knowing HOW stuff works (hey, I like How Stuff Works!). I’m a huge fan of the American Museum of Natural History. I am a proud member and I love all the programs and exhibits (both new and old) the museum curates. Thus, when a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence like the Transit of Venus happens, I wanted to be in the midst of fellow passionate geeks and kids (who I consider naturally-born geeks – it seems we typically lose our eagerness to learn the older we get). On June 5th, AMNH was providing a free viewing of NASA TV’s direct feed of Venus’ march across the face of the Sun (an event that won’t take place again until 2117, and I doubt I’ll make it that far), and was doing so underneath the Hayden Planetarium. It was hosted by astronomer Steve Beyer, who answered even the cutest questions – one young one asked if Venus was in danger of burning up if it was going in front of the sun – and Steve himself was introduced to the crowd by Astrophysicist and geek-crush of mine, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. It was cool to see the feed of the little, teeny-weeny image of Venus passing over the red face of the Sun, and I was excited to be part of the symbolic “viewing” party that AMNH offered the public.


Neil DeGrasse Tyson introduces the event


Venus makes an appearance. Yup, bottom lefthand corner!

On June 6th, I was happy to be able to meet up with my husband for special Birthday sushi at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants, Kodama Sushi. It’s right in the middle of midtown, and easy walking distance to many theaters (and within easy walking distance from New Dramatists, where I was rehearsing a staged reading).


The sushi bar of Kodama


Bento lunch special, which isn’t that expensive here!

Later, my husband and I (plus the in-laws) returned to AMNH to celebrate my husband’s birthday by going to the SciCafe. Held every first Wednesday of the month, the SciCafe is a free lecture-with-cash-bar event. Past themes have included Skin, Superstring Theory, Robots, and Reality itself. But they don’t talk over the layman’s head – the guest speakers break the subject down into an easily digested hour of introductory concepts, and answer both simple and more heady questions afterward. This Wednesday, the subject was “Forgetting Fear,” and the speaker of the hour, Daniela Schiller, concentrated on how the mind forms fearful memories and how ultimately phobias and memory problems like PTSD in soldiers can cause depression, anxiety, suicide and strife. Then, the speech addressed how one can work on re-programming the emotional response to these memories and learn over time how to live without their more deleterious effects. Yeah, perfect for a birthday! But we both loved the speech, and as the SciCafe series won’t return until October, it was great to share the experience with the in-laws.

In order to digest this information (and more) we went across the street to Shake Shack for a birthday dinner, and we were joined by more of Pete’s friends. I tried the vegetarian ‘Shroom Burger, which sounds healthy until you realize it’s fried and filled with cheese (but it’s delicious!!!!). I added fries and then, to stay on theme, the Natural History “Crunch-stellation” shake. The main website has nutritional values for all these items, but I think I would weep if I actually added up the numbers.


Burger and Fries. Heart monitor not included


The AMNH-sponsored “Crunch-stellation”: it was vanilla-y and chocolate-crunchy and science-y all at once!

Coming up: Chez Napoleon, “String,” “Prometheus” and Mark Janas’ 60th Birthday Bash!

Someone spin me a hammock to rest in – “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark”

Sunday, June 3rd, was all about gluttony. Three feasts were had, two for the taste buds and one for…well…the 12 year old in all (or some) of us. We all started out with a celebration at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Peacock room, where one can purchase eating and gorging rights to their infamous Sunday buffet. We were celebrating both my husband’s birthday and my mother-in-law’s birthday, plus the 50th anniversary of our friend’s wedding. So, it was a good meal to be had in a “throw caution to the wind” sort of way. However, I stuck to mostly fish and veggies, grabbing the things that I could never find in my local restaurant with any high standard, and broke down only towards the end with the chocolate fondue fountain (with pineapples and strawberries acting as the chocolate delivery system).


First plate…………………and second plate.
= utter gluttony. I tried to stick with the lighter-fare fish and veggies!


Chocolate fondue and chocolate with gold Waldorf writing.

We tottered out of the Peacock buffet room, and took a moment to visit Cole Porter’s piano on the way out, then found a taxi to take our heavier corporeal forms back into the Times Square area for our third musical of the weekend…

A group of full people!


The piano Cole Porter personally used to write many classic American Standards while staying at the Waldorf-Astoria.

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW!



We did it. We finally did it, damn us all to hell…we saw “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,” the plagued Broadway-Meets-Stan-Lee’s-Creation that has had numerous re-writes, injuries, directors, edits, and conceptual pitfalls throughout its long Preview season. We were ultimately interested in seeing the show for curiosity’s sake, and because Spider-Man is one of my husband’s favorite comic book/superhero characters. Peter Parker is the most human of the classic superheroes. He’s still in school, has a photographer’s income, and deals with familial death and neighborhood angst straight out of the gate. He doesn’t have Bruce Wayne’s budget, is not a Goddess like Wonder Woman, and doesn’t have Kryptonian-spun costumes like Superman. And that’s ultimately what’s missing in “Turn off the Dark” – it’s a gluttony of spectacle, sets, lights, costumes, swinging/hanging effects and fights, video projections, webbing, Greek myths, and a rock score that will blast your ears out. And it tries to find the humanity in all of it, but fails on that account.


The front-of-curtain Comic Book “Cover”

It’s appropriate that “Turn off the Dark” is situated in a theater on 42nd Street, right across from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Dave & Busters, and countless other tourist-friendly venues. This is a hybrid of too many conflicting creative minds to consider it a traditional “Broadway musical.” It’s more of a Theme Park Stunt Show on steroids, with a huge-name score by Bono & The Edge that is light on character development and laughable in some instances. The musical’s costumes and acting style choices don’t tell us if the show takes place in the 1940’s, the 1980’s, or 2012. The costumes are impressive, the sets and their comic-book sensibilities are mind-blowing, and the stunts are beautifully executed. Those who have always wanted to feel as if they’re seeing a superhero appear above their heads can sit in the Orchestra and have a blast – it’ll tickle the 12 year old kid in you, as they recreate Spider-Man’s iconic web-swinging techniques, poses, landings, fighting and hanging skills seen on Spider-Man comic book covers. But there are some costumes that confuse rather than astound, especially those of the “Sinister Six,” who are created to unleash havoc in New York City and who appear to be created from a fever dream – seriously, their character design is something out of the completely silly Japanese “Spider-Man” TV show (see YouTube video) from 30 years ago, or a badly done Power Rangers villain factory.


Pete got webbed, and his 12 year old boy-self was happy.

I almost laughed when they were revealed, but my jaw was too far towards the floor to do so. That said, Patrick Page and his insane Green Goblin are over the top, and he has a gorgeous bass voice that excels in expressive singing, some honestly tender moments, and maniacal yelling-laughing-being-evil. I wanted to dump the Sinister Six and have the Green Goblin show for Act II. I did appreciate the use of old-fashioned puppetry and stage illusions to find ways around pesky physics getting in the way of telling a superhero movie. The moments when the comic book cutout sets melded with the “fun” of defying gravity worked the best. However, sometimes this backfired (a huge blowup doll and joke about it during the wrestling scene!??! Come ON!) but I liked the simplicity and metaphysical world the pop-up sets created. I just wished they were consistent throughout and weren’t slow to change from scene to scene in some spots. I’m not the first to blog my opinion of this show, and I understand that it’s making a bundle for Broadway actors/dancers/stunt guys and is certainly getting people into the Times Square area to spend their money. You can take the kids to it and many of those kids will grow up with the image of Spider-Man himself swinging above their heads for years to come. We can shake our fists at the creative Gods for not handing us a perfect stunt show with fully fleshed out characters, amazing music and lyrics, and a human story mixed in with the spectacle. But it won’t matter…Spidey is here to stay.


From japanesespiderman.tumblr.com

After “Spider-Man,” we traveled to the Novotel Hotel and the in-house cafe/restaurant Cafe Nicole. There, we attempted to eat more – I had a skirt steak and salad with an appetizer of cold-served artichoke and a glass of merlot. The food is basic and good, a lot healthier than other restaurants we were at that week, and I love the view from the great glass windows overlooking Times Square from the 7th floor. I couldn’t finish my steak, though, and had it cut up into a salad for dinner the next day. We got home from the day’s adventures tired and overstimulated, but happier for the adventures we had.


The view of Times Square


Artichoke heart and wine…quite a nice combo!

Coming up: Venus, “String,” Pete’s Birthday and FEAR!!!!

And the Musicals Kept Rolling in – “Evita” and lunch at Maison

Saturday the 2nd we were still getting over a chocolate hangover from the Sardi’s dessert the night before, but my husband and I were excited to meet up with the in-laws and friends for lunch at Maison, and then to see “Evita” on Broadway! Maison is a French bistro-breakfast-lunch restaurant which invokes “the coastal flavors of Brittany“…whatever that means. The food is delicious (I had the Eggs Normandy: eggs benedict with lox), and the little beignets (basically little doughnut holes in a traditional French style) were hard to resist (I had half of one…good girl!). The only issue was that the staff seemed hilariously/traditionally “French” in that they were slow to get more coffee to us in a timely manner. Ah well. But that seemed insignificant to the treat I was about to get: finally seeing “Evita” on Broadway.


Not pictured: bacon…yes, I had bacon too!

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW!



I have to preface everything I type from here on out in this blog entry to state that I have an emotional connection to this particular Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical. I played Eva in High School, with fabulous costumes rented from the San Jose Opera Company, a great simple stage made on the gym floor at Bishop O’Dowd High School, and sang to a midi orchestra since the score was way too hard for our little high school band to play. So, needless to say, I knew the entire score (with some updates) word-for-word and was breathlessly thrilled to finally see it on the Great White Way, the Big Apple of New York. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ricky Martin, while not playing the historically-accurate “Che,” did his part well and while he doesn’t have the strongest vocals, he didn’t fall flat and kept the energy going. We saw the alternative Eva – which initially made me curse a bit since I was hoping to see Elena Roger – but the alternate Christina DeCicco had a flawless voice and a fiery and youthful take on Eva that did not disappoint.

And then there was Michael Cerveris…ohhhhhh Michael. I saw him perform the title character in “Tommy” in San Francisco about 20 years ago, and since then he has aged gracefully and beautifully into a whole new vocal part and casting zone. His voice is gorgeous, his passion as Peron was a great choice, and I got the connection between Peron & Eva as powerful business partners yet a loving couple. I loved the sets, which were huge and gorgeous and allowed some great double-tiered storytelling. The choreography was Argentinian and hot, and I loved certain touches in the direction that I wouldn’t have expected (during “A New Argentina” it was great to see the men walking by and dropping in their votes, while the women alternately just looked longingly at the voting box). I could have done without the video montage in the very beginning, which wasn’t needed to set the political and emotional stage of the flashback, but it was a minor flaw.


The front curtain with real portraits of Peron & Eva

The Mistress and Magaldi had fabulous voices – they’re often the most overlooked roles, but are wonderful and meaty and they did nice things with their solos that could have become just an excuse for the leads to take a break (but didn’t). And I noticed that whoever reduxed the orchestrations and score of the show made incredibly smart cuts – instead of cutting songs and scenes and dialogue, he or she removed interstitial music, tiny beats, and minor transition music that may have dragged the entire show to a longer running time. Even music between verses were cut in half, but the direction allowed moments to happen organically even as the music was reduced. I only recognized it because I had the original Elaine Page version and my own experience rattling around in my head. And while the ending is still weird and abrupt and awkward, they dealt with Eva’s hallucination and “death scene” in a fresh way.

All in all, my praise of the show may be high because they didn’t ruin it, they told the story with all the elements intact, and they did so with an enhanced passion for this controversial woman’s life.


Outside in the Merchandise section, even the mannequins wanted to be Eva

Coming up: “Spider-Man,” overindulgence, SciCafe, and more overindulgence (someone get my gym membership on the phone…stat!)