Review of Evita at the Woodlawn

Ben Shirani

The Woodlwan Theatre is hosting a delightful musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber about Eva Peron, “Evita”. The show puts music and song to the life of Eva Peron. “Evita” plays every weekend, one show on Friday evening and a second on Saturday afternoon.

The Woodlawn Theatre offers discounted student pricing- tickets for UTSA students costs about $20. The company is in its third week of production and the show will run until Sept. 11.

The cast and crew do a great job of integrating modern technology with song and dance. Benjamin Farrar has had the cast tuned pitch perfect with Shure brand body mics and the audience engaged with well-blended media projected on Benjamin Graybill’s elegant and clean set.

Evita is centered around the character Eva Peron played by the stunning Lauren Wertz-James. Lauren studied theatre at Otterbein University just outside Columbus, Ohio. Her immaculate performance is accompanied by the amazing vocals of the narrator “Che”, played by Travis Trevino. The show’s director is Chris Rodriguez.

The company immediately breaks the fourth wall as a funeral procession makes its way from the back of the theatre to the stage. The nine-piece live orchestra and chorus are haunting. The dark undertones and floating vocals draw the audience in.

We follow Eva and Che as Eva seduces her way from poverty to fame and power. Eva’s foil, Che, desperately tries to keep up in a power struggle. Eva maneuvers her way into powerful people’s bedrooms and into the heart of Argentina. Passing out stacks of cash in “And the Money Kept Rolling In,” Eva shows her true colors. Before her fight with cancer we find her nursing the fragile psyche of a nation in turmoil with her smooth voice and soft charm. Her untimely death leave Argentina “mourning all day and mourning all night.”

The strong performances by all of the actors combined with the very apparent work ethic of the crew make for a memorable performance. Students with free time and extra cash this weekend should take a friend and enjoy the show.