A little history, lots of entertainment as EVITA and PROHIBITION encore this Saturday

Winford Hunter

THE Fundamentals:  EVITA, the 1980 several Tony Award-profitable musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, in a “concert performance” introduced by Starring Buffalo, with their signature technique of mixing Broadway professionals, Buffalo pros, and this time the high college choirs from City Honors and Frederick Legislation Olmsted, opened on Friday, November 4 at 7:30 pm, with two remaining reveals this Saturday, November 5 at both equally 2 pm and 7:30 pm at Shea’s 710 Theatre, at the corner of Major and Tupper across from the “Theatre District” plaza.

Runtime: Two hrs with a person 20-minute intermission in the desirable 710 foyer/lounge spot.

THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  Set in Argentina in between 1934 and 1952, EVITA charts Eva Peron’s (born Duarte) increase from poverty to come to be the most impressive female in Latin The united states, with quite a few really pleasant tracks in addition, but definitely not exclusive, to the strike “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”  Far from a dry lesson in South American political background, this is a tuneful story of ambition operate wild.

THE Players, THE Participate in, AND THE Output: The Starring Buffalo concert functionality features Tony Award-Successful Lena Corridor (Very best Featured Actress in a Musical as “Yitzhak” in HEDWIG AND THE Indignant INCH) as Eva Perón.  (Exciting reality: Lena Corridor is the stage title of Celina Consuela Gabriella Carvajal.)  Also onstage is Robi Hager (SPRING AWAKENING) as Che, and Nicholas Rodriguez (Business, TARZAN) as Juan Perón, performing together with Buffalo spot stars Anna Fernandez (Artie Award-Nominee, A Refrain LINE) as The Mistress, and Raphael Santos (Artie Award-Nominee, THE Toxic AVENGER) as Magaldi with Blaise Mercedes (Artie Award-Nominee, WEST Aspect Story), Victoria Pérez (multiple Artie Award nominations), Mateo Rivera, Joe Russi, Madalyn Teal, and Dan Torres, as properly as dozens of Western New York singers, dancers, and musicians (offstage, led by Daniel Bassin). 

As you can convey to by several of the previous names, the producers have named in some of the finest Latin skills, several of them domestically affiliated with Raíces Theatre, Buffalo’s Latino theater team.  There have been 3 superb performances. Initially, from Broadway’s Robi Hager as Che, a made-up character that narrates the motion and delivers an substitute narrative to the blind worship of Evita.  Even nevertheless, in reality, Juan Perón did satisfy a several periods with the Argentine-born groundbreaking Ernesto “Che” Guevara, that is NOT the character we see on phase.  In simple fact, in South The united states, the name or nickname “Che” may even translate to simply just “guy” or “dude.”  Soon after the opening choral “Requiem for Evita,” Hager has the opening tune “Oh, What a Circus” and he set the regular of excellence that, for the most element, was upheld all evening.

Evita curtain get in touch with – picture by Peter Hall

Also delivering at that superior amount was Buffalo’s Raphael Santos as “Magaldi,” Evita’s to start with adore/stepping stone, and a sensuous tango singer with a clean and silky voice. Note to Buffalo producers: ¡Queremos más Santos!  We want additional Santos! 

The third highlight arrived from Buffalo’s Anna Fernandez, tall and attractive, with a pure voice that captivated the audience. She was also priceless in group numbers aiding to sweeten the audio. Fernandez not long ago starred as “Morticia” in O’Connell & Company’s ADDAMS Family and I would say that this is her 12 months.  On phase she sat future to her ADDAMS Family co-star, Madalyn Teal and the two of them appeared to be owning so much enjoyable!  A big objective of Drew Fornarola when he commenced Starring Buffalo productions was to carry collectively musical pros who may not otherwise get a opportunity to perform with each other and you bought the sensation that Fernandez and Teal were “in the instant.”

By the way, in his opening remarks, director Fornarola discussed that the team very first assembled on Wednesday early morning, and experienced put this all with each other in just 3 times.  Amazing.

My only disappointment was in the vocal efficiency of Lena Corridor, who may have had a cold.  Her voice was generally raspy and at instances a very little screechy.  That could not be fully on her.  The position is notoriously hard.  In point, in an interview with the NY Occasions critic Jesse Inexperienced, Patti Lupone mentioned “EVITA was the worst working experience of my life…I was screaming my way by means of a component that could only have been composed by a man who hates ladies.”  At intermission, a regional director instructed me that when Madonna sang the position, it was transposed down to a much more sensible crucial.  He also recommended that if the tempo of “A New Argentina” experienced been faster, then Ms. Hall could have just touched on the superior notes in its place of being pressured to keep them.

That apart, there are several, a lot of delights in this output of EVITA that I never have house for, but when you go, (it is on phase once again Saturday November 5 at both 2 and 7:30) you will be much more than entertained.  I’m offering it Four Buffalos, which indicates that “Both the manufacturing and the play are of substantial caliber. If the style/written content are up your alley, I would make a authentic work to attend.”


In the meantime, across city, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is also placing on a semi-staged bit of audio background.  Rather of Argentina in the 1940s and 50s, it is New York Town and Berlin, Germany in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

THE Essentials:  PROHIBITION, introduced on the BPO Pops Series, done by Bradley Thachuk with 3 vocalists – Broadway’s Bronson Norris Murphy as the “Dapper Young Male,” Off-Broadway’s Madison Claire Parks as the “Young Ingenue,” and worldwide blues and jazz vocalist Myra Maud perfectly-cast as the “Cabaret Singer” opened at a Friday early morning Espresso Concert with just one additional general performance, Saturday evening, November 5, at 7:30 at Kleinhans Songs Hall.  716-885-5000 bpo.org  Runtime: 2 several hours with one particular intermission

THUMBNAIL SKETCH:  With classic images projected on the overhead display along with “silent movie” cues in a retro typeface showing up to flicker like an previous motion picture, we are handled to 26 musical figures, all organized by Jeff Tyzik, all presented without introduction, as points move swiftly alongside showcasing a range of (pretty retro) musical types in this really produced system.  This is not the songs of your grandparents.  It’s the tunes of your grandparents’ grandparents.  And it is so substantially pleasurable!

THE Players, THE Perform, AND THE Output: Immediately after an orchestral number we are very first handled to 1931’s “My Canary Has Circles Beneath His Eyes” with lyrics by Ted Kohler.  If that title rings a bell, it could be mainly because he was a favourite collaborator with Buffalo’s personal Harold Arlen.  So there are numerous much more now-forgotten music, but then there are more effectively-known hits such as “La Vie En Rose,” and “Mack The Knife,” and just one designed incredibly preferred by The Andrews Sisters with the Yiddish title “Bei Mir bist Du Schön” (To me you are charming).  In the very first half, we go concerning New York Town and Berlin for the duration of the Weimar Republic, a area and time acquainted to numerous by way of the musical CABARET.

You can see the whole playlist along with artist bios right here.

There’s an considerable segment working with the Fantastic Depression together with “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” adopted by much more upbeat figures these as “We’re In the Revenue,” “On The Sunny Aspect of the Road,” ending with Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”  

As stated there is no commentary as is standard with Bradley Thachuk Pops Concerts.  As an alternative, the three vocal stars enter in several costumes to sing solos, duets, or trios.  There’s some dancing and often they just sit at a very small table for two and gaze into each and every other’s eyes singing a enjoy duet.  

I must say that in these nervous times it was reassuring to try to remember that as a nation we endured these countrywide mistakes as Prohibition and that we also got via The Fantastic Melancholy.  

As with EVITA, I’m giving it Four Buffalos, which signifies that “Both the creation and the perform are of large caliber. If the style/content are up your alley, I would make a true effort to show up at.”


Kleinhans Music Hall is at “3 Symphony Circle” Buffalo, 14201 where Porter Avenue, Richmond Avenue, North Avenue and Wadsworth satisfy at a site visitors circle.  Visit www.bpo.org or contact 716-885-5000.  Entire-services bar in the foyer or across the foyer in the Mary Seaton Space.  Masks are optional.

*HERD OF BUFFALO (Notes on the Rating Program)

One particular BUFFALO: This implies trouble. A dreadful participate in, a hugely flawed production, or the two. Except there is some seriously compelling explanation for you to show up at (i.e. you are the dad or mum of an individual who is in it), give this exhibit a broad berth.

TWO BUFFALOS: Passable, but no terrific shakes. Both the output is really much off base, or the perform alone is problematic. Except you are the type of man or woman who’s joyful just heading to the theater, you may possibly glance close to for a thing else.

Three BUFFALOS: I still have my concerns, but this is a quite darn very good night at the theater. If you do not go in with substantial expectations, you will probably be delighted.

Four BUFFALOS: Both the production and the participate in are of higher caliber. If the style/content material are up your alley, I would make a real energy to go to.

5 BUFFALOS: Actually superb–a uncommon rating. Comedies that go away you weak with laughter, dramas that actually contact the coronary heart. Delivered that this is the variety of show you like, you’d be a idiot to miss it!

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