Reviewed by Paula Citron
The musical Evita is another Stratford production that looks good on paper, but disappoints in reality. While director Gary Griffin does a descent job on staging, he forgot about charisma. Evita needs over the top punch.
There are only five characters in Evita and each one has to have dynamite force because they carry the show. Only Josh Young as the brooding and cynical Che passes the charisma test. Josie Marasco as Juan Perón’s old mistress also makes some impact.
Magaldi the tango singer who makes women swoon is the first man Evita uses on her rise to the top. Sadly, Vince Staltari scores zero on the charisma meter. The usually strong Juan Chioran has been directed to turn Perón into a friendly uncle. As for Chilina Kennedy, she gives us a bloodless Evita.
As a result, Douglas Paraschuk’s attractive galleria set and Mara Blumenfeld’s gorgeous period costumes are reduced to window dressing.
Evita continues at the Avon Theatre until Oct. 30.
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Gary Griffin
Performed by Josh Young, Chilina Kennedy, Juan Chioran, Vince Staltari and Josie Marasco
Avon Theatre, May 28 to Oct. 30, 2010