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posted: 6/17/2014 8:54 AM

'Evita' opening at North Central College

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By Nancy Dunkeer
North Central College

The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical "Evita" opens this weekend as part of North Central College's Summer Musical Theatre program in Naperville.

Six performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. June 20-21 and 27-28, and 2 p.m. June 22 and 29, in North Central's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students and senior citizens. For details, call the North Central College Box Office at (630) 637-7469 or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

"Evita," which began as a rock opera concept album in 1976, follows the life of controversial Argentine political leader Eva Perón, wife of Argentine President Juan Perón.

The story begins with the title character's death and then traces the trail of affairs, blackmail, and political and social drama that led to her untimely end.

Brian Lynch, North Central's fine arts director and veteran of Broadway touring productions, is the show's director and choreographer. Ali Kordelewski, a 2012 North Central graduate with degrees in choral and instrumental music education, gives musical direction.

"I've always loved 'Evita' since I performed in it as both Magaldi and Che at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse," Lynch said. "I feel it's one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's finest works."

"Evita" takes a very special leading lady to make the part work, Lynch said. Alaina Wis and Andrea Larson-Musselman are double cast in the role and will follow the lead of the original Eva Perón, played by Patti LuPone, who will appear in concert at North Central next April 24.

"Both Alaina and Andrea, an alum of North Central, are very talented and have the necessary vocal pyrotechnics to bring this score to life," Lynch said.

"And when you add two more of our alumni, Keith Carlson as Juan Peron and Dave Musselman as Che Gueverra, we have a stellar cast that will blow the roof off Pfeiffer Hall."

The cast for "Evita" features nearly 100 community residents as dancers, Argentine people, soldiers and more.

"Evita" is the one of three musicals this summer at North Central College. The Summer Light Opera directed by Matt Boresi presents Gilbert & Sullivan's "Trial by Jury" and "The Sorcerer" July 11-13 and 17-19. The final musical of the summer is "Bye Bye Birdie," directed by Susan Craig-Olsen and presented Aug. 1-3 and 8-10.

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