Age old musical Evita inspires at Zach Theater

Eliza Fuller

In the Zach Theater production of the famous musical Evita, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber tells the true story of how Eva Duarte, affectionately referred to as Evita, was once a poor worker with nothing to her name, and rose to be a great political power and the beloved First Lady of Argentina.

The musical is about a girl from Argentina who dreams of making it on her own in the entertainment industry. She has a beautiful voice and a knack for acting, which helps her on her way up the social ladder. Along her way, she encounters (and sleeps with) some very important figures. From famous tango singers to businessmen, the most important man she meets is Juan Perón, a colonel for the Argentine military. It is set in the mid ’40s and ’50s, when Argentina was in a time of political turmoil and the military was trying to take control of the government. Perón, however, wanted the voice of the workers to be heard. Eva meets and falls in love with Perón, whom she eventually weds. Using her newfound fame and influential voice, she praises Perón on every public platform, clearing the path for his inevitable presidency and the couple’s rise to power.

Playing the role of Eva was Madeline Trumble. She wonderfully embodied all of the changing emotions and characters that was Eva Perón. Her magnificent transformation from rags to riches and the emotional roller coaster that went along with it was beautifully portrayed by Trumble and her triumphant voice.

Her husband, Juan Perón, was played by the stoic and cool Matthew Redden. Their relationship was one of love, but they also tried to use each other to gain power. The couple’s success thrived on the influence of Eva’s fame, which she used to her advantage frequently. She used her voice to show the world that she was one of the common people and that she and her husband had their best interests at heart. Both Redden and Trumble successfully portrayed this image of a powerful couple who wanted to be loved by their country.

The musical is narrated by Andrew Foote, who played the role of Che, and represented the changing voice of the people while telling Eva’s incredible story. Some of the country saw Eva as a saint, while others saw her as someone who spoke frequently of how she was equal to the common worker but did not live up to the image. Che embodies this complex character perfectly, constantly changing his tone towards Eva to show the drastic difference in mood toward her.

Many of the musical numbers in Evita are incredibly well known by the public. Songs such as “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” have been sung by many famous artists over the years. Trumble does an amazing job with the song, thus adding her name to the long list of those who have taken on the difficult tune.

Evita ran from Sept. 30 through Nov. 1, so it is no longer playing at the Zach Theater, but if you would like to see and hear Eva Perón’s incredible story, you can watch the 1996 film Evita, which stars Madonna as Eva.