Just a Little Touch of Star Quality: Evita by the WSP
I watched the movie starring Madonna and Antonia Bandaras, rapidly "Buenos Aries" became my favourite song; and Evita secured its place firmly in my list of Top 10 Broadway Shows. So, understandably when The Workshop Players announced that they would be staging it in Sri Lanka - I was excited.
Props to Jerome, the cast and crew for selling out a show that ran for 10 nights - prompting them to add 2 matinee performances. This shows the height of respect that the WSP have reached in Sri Lanka's theater standards, and lets face it - we are tough critics.
Melanie Bibile played Evita the night I went - Friday the 13th of September. I loved that she portrayed Eva Peron as bitchy, ambitious, and raw - minus the polish that Madonna played her with. I was irritated with the confusing accent she kept attempting in her singing, it compromised the clarity of her diction. Her acting skills were amazing though - had she had lost that silly attempt at an accent, I would have been in love.
Peron started off shaky but warmed up amazingly. I loved him towards the end. Perhaps it was a tough night.
Che was easily the star. His accent was amazing diction, singing and everything. Also mad props to Peron's first mistress - her rendition of "Another Suitcase in a Another Hall" was MINDBLOWING.
The costume changes, set (mostly the set) and chorus were so wonderful. I don't even have words to describe it. WSP set a new standard.
My only issue was with the accents. Why include them?! Would have been so much better without. Props Jerome - Oliver, Blood Brothers, Sound of Music, Lion King - Broadway in the subcontinent at its finest!