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Evita is a Must See

August 23, 2009

Four Season Theater’s most recent production, “Evita” is a definite must see.

Problem is, it closed today. There’s 1 matinee and if you’re at all a fan of this show, you owe it to yourself to be at the Wisconsin Union Theater for today’s performance.

I’ve been a fan of Four Season Theater since I saw one of their first productions a few years ago of Ragtime at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. The current production, Evita, is of the same caliber. In my humble opinion this is one of the best “community” theater organizations ever in Madison.

First the highlights-Chad Grote as main character Che is right on the mark. His vocals are clear, concise and wonderful to hear. His emotional control of the character comes through clearly in every scene and makes him a joy to watch as a true singer/actor vs. an actor who can sing somewhat or a singer who can slightly act. His the real deal and his talent shines through. My only criticism is the bad hair he dons for the role. I don’t believe it was his own as it looked very wig-like. If that’s the worst thing I can find in his performance, I had to look very hard!

L. Joe Dahl performance of Peron is equally as strong. His downplayed, subtle stage presence was perfect against the strength of character in Eva. Vocally he was right on the mark as well. Again, a strong addition to an already wonderful cast.

Amanda Poulson truly steals the show as Eva Peron. She actually almost made me feel sorry for the character as she fell ill in the story line, and most of you know the rest. Vocally again very strong and wonderful to listen to. Her command of the lyrics were clear and concise as well—a must in pulling off a show like this.

Other notables were Robert Goderich as the used Magaldi. His slightly schmaltzy rendition of a tango singer was right on the mark. Samantha Mae Bock, as the jilted mistress of Peron truly grabbed the audition in her performance of “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”.

The large cast (29 actors) was strong as well both vocally and surprisingly, in their choreography. Not always easy to pull off in community-type theater. Once again Four Seasons did it all very well.

My only critic of the show would have been the orchestra—not always as strong as the cast came across and quite often too loud to be able to hear the singers….there were some beautiful orchestrations within the show but the opening number “Requieum” made it seems as if the orchestra wasn’t quite ready for the show last night.

Don’t let that stop you, though. Evita is sure to please.

Showtimes are today, August 23, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Get your tickets by clicking here.

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