March 5 & 6
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at FSW
2020-2021 Season Sponsor: Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family
Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz
as Eva Perón
Rodrigo Ignacio Cruz
as Juan Perón
as Augustin Magaldi
as Peron’s Mistress
E. Mani Cadet
Presented in one act, without intermission.
On 26 July 1952, a crowd in a Buenos Aires, Argentina theatre is watching a movie that is interrupted when news breaks of the death of First Lady Eva Perón. Both the crowd and the nation go into a period of public mourning as Che, a member of the public, marvels at the spectacle and promises to show how Eva did “nothing for years.”
In 1934, 15-year-old Eva Duarte lives in the province of Junín, and longs to seek a better life in Buenos Aires. Eva falls in love with a tango singer-songwriter, Agustín Magaldi, after she meets him at one of his shows. Eva persuades Magaldi to take her with him to Buenos Aires and though he is initially resistant, he eventually accepts. Upon her arrival at the city, Eva sings about her hopes and ambitions of glory as an actress.
After her arrival, Eva is quick to leave Magaldi, and Che relates the story of how Eva sleeps her way up the social ladder, becoming a model, radio star, and actress. He then tells of both a right-wing coup in 1943 and Eva’s success, implying that Argentine politics and Eva’s career may soon coincide. Che also makes a point to introduce the figure of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, an ambitious military colonel who was making his way up the Argentine political ladder. In a game of musical chairs that represents the rise of political figures, Perón and other military figures compete for power and exhibit their political strategy.
After a massive earthquake hits the town of San Juan, Perón organizes a charity concert at Luna Park to provide aid to the earthquake’s victims. Eva attends and briefly reunites with Agustín Magaldi, who coldly shuns her for her past actions. Perón addresses the crowd with words of encouragement and leaps off the stage, meeting Eva as soon as he exits. Eva and Perón share a secret rendezvous following the charity concert, where Eva hints that she could help Perón rise to power. Eva dismisses Perón’s Mistress, who ponders the rejection.
Upon moving in with Perón, Eva is introduced to high society only to be met with disdain from the upper classes and the Argentine Army. In 1946, after launching his presidential bid, Perón discusses his chances of winning the election with Eva. After reassuring him of their chances of winning, Eva organizes rallies for the descamisados and gives them hope for a better future while Perón and his allies plot to dispose of anyone who stands in their way.
Perón is elected President in a sweeping victory in 1946. He stands “On The Balcony of the Casa Rosada” addressing his descamisados (shirtless ones). Eva speaks from the balcony of the Presidential Palace to her adoring supporters, where she reveals that despite her initial goal of achieving fame and glory, she has found her true calling to be the people of her country. Che analyzes the price of fame as Eva dances at the Inaugural Ball with Perón, now the president-elect.
Eva insists on a glamorous image to impress the people of Argentina and promote Perónism. She prepares to tour in Europe as she is dressed for success by her fashion consultants. Her famous 1946 tour meets with mixed results; Spaniards adore her, but the Italians liken her husband to Benito Mussolini. France is impressed, and the English snub her by inviting her to a country estate, rather than Buckingham Palace. Eva affirms her disdain for the upper class, while Che asks her to start helping those in need as she made a promise. Eva begins the Eva Perón Foundation to direct her charity work. Che describes Eva’s controvertible charitable work, and possible money laundering.
Eva appears at a church to take the sacrament in front of her adoring supporters, but passes out suddenly, and while unconscious, appears to have a dream that reflects upon the conflicting views of her life. In her dream, she and Che heatedly debate her actions; Che accuses Eva of using the Argentine people for her own ends, while Eva cynically replies that there is no glory in trying to solve the world’s problems from the sidelines. At the end of the argument, Eva finally admits to herself and Che that she is dying and can’t go on for much longer. Che points out the disastrous results of Perón’s policies on Argentina: its treasury is bankrupt, its once-thriving beef industry is under rationing, and the press and other critics of the regime are muzzled.
Perón’s generals finally get sick of Eva’s meddling and demand that Perón force her to leave politics. However, Perón objects and claims that if it wasn’t for her, they would never have achieved as much as they have. But he also concedes that she won’t be able to keep working for long as she will soon succumb to her cancer. Even so, Eva is determined to run for Vice President, and Perón fears that the military will stage a coup if she runs and that Eva’s health is too delicate for any stressful work, but Eva insists that she can continue, despite her failing health.
Realizing that she’s about to die, Eva renounces her pursuit of the vice presidency and swears her eternal love to the people of Argentina. Eva’s numerous achievements flash before her eyes before she dies, and she asks for forgiveness, contemplating her choice of fame instead of long reign. Evita dies, and embalmers preserve her body forever. Che notes that a monument was set to be built for Evita, but says that “only the pedestal was completed, and Evita’s body disappeared for 17 years.”
Mariand Torres as Eva Perón
Mariand Torres grew up in Miami, Florida and has called NYC home for 15 years. She is best known for playing the role of Elphaba on Broadway and the National Tour of Wicked, and most recently collaborated with Stephen Schwartz on the film version of his musical Snapshots, which was produced in collaboration with ACT of Connecticut. Other credits include: Broadway: Wicked, and the original cast of Broadway’s first Acapella musical, In Transit. National/International Tours: Wicked, and the world premiere of Prince of Broadway, directed by Harold Prince/Susan Stroman, which played in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Off-Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the the Great Comet of 1812 (Original Off B’way Cast), School of Rock (Gramercy Theater World Premiere). Regional: Eva Peron in Evita (Kansas City Rep), Helen Bechdel in Fun Home (KC Rep) Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (Connecticut Rep), world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s Giant (Signature Theatre), and Murder Ballad (Actors Playhouse). TV: Madam Secretary.
Mariand has participated in the development of new musicals with New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, LAByrinth Theatre Company, New York Stage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Old Globe and Yale Rep, among others. She has performed in concerts throughout NYC (Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz, Joe’s Pub and others), with the American Pops of Washington, DC and as far as Beijing, China. Education: Bachelor of Music, Musical Theater, University of Miami.
Dan Domenech as Che
Dan Domenech’s versatile vocals have been heard in 49 states and 8 countries. Touring with productions of the Tony award winning musical RENT, Wonderland, Sister Act, Rock of Ages, and Kinky Boots, Domenech has made his mark as one of the industry’s leading men.
In concert, Dan has made appearances with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, upcoming orchestral powerhouse Rocktopia and Nederlander Worldwide’s production of Broadway Rox. He’s worked with composers Tom Kitt, Laurence O’Keefe, Frank Wildhorn, and Alan Menkin on new shows including the soon to be released revamp of BatBoy the Musical.
He’s made guest appearances on Glee (Fox), Gotham (Fox), Viva Luaghlin (CBS), and worked with Directors Ben Stiller, Brett Ratner, Ivan Reitman, and Adam McKay on several films and awards shows out of Los Angeles.
Rodrigo Ignacio Cruz as Juan Perón
Rodrigo Ignacio Cruz is thrilled to be making his Gulf Coast Symphony debut with Evita. Hailing from Chicago, Rodrigo booked the 25th Anniversary National Tour of CATS right out of college. Favorite credits include: Juan Perón in Evita, The Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Baker in Into the Woods, and Waiter/Man #3 in the Chicago regional premiere of First Date, the musical. Regionally he has been seen on the stages of Orlando Shakes, the New York Musical Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Utah Shakespearean Festival, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Rodrigo obtained his BFA in Musical Theatre from Millikin University. Many thanks to everyone at Eisen Associates and to Ann McMann and Cynthia Oeck for always believing in him. As always, much love to Mom, Dad, and Matthew. Gracias por tu fe y amor. Proud AEA member! For more information on Rodrigo, check out: www.RodrigoIgnacioCruz.com
Mark Sanders as Augustin Magaldi
This South Florida resident has appeared in numerous productions and concerts around the world, including regular performances with the Gulf Coast Symphony. Mark was seen as Perchik on the Broadway National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof starring Theodore Bikel and recently portrayed Harry Bright in Mamma Mia at Actors’ Playhouse in Miami. Mark has performed at such prestigious theatres as Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Pittsburgh CLO, North Shore Music Theatre, and Sacramento Music Circus. Credits include: Carousel (Mr. Snow), Ragtime (Father), Murder Ballad (Michael-Carbonell Award), Next to Normal (Dan), Bridges of Madison County (‘Bud’ Johnson), Passion (Col. Ricci), The Secret Garden (Archibald), Music Man with Jeff Goldblum, Jesus Christ Superstar, Blood Brothers with Andrea McArdle, Phantom with Bob Cuccioli, Miss Saigon, Tommy with Alice Ripley, Jekyll & Hyde, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Mark’s solo show, ONE VOICE: The Music of Barry Manilow, will begin
touring again in 2021 with a brand new CD of Manilow’s incredible music. Visit www.MarkSandersNYC.com for upcoming concerts and performances.
Caiti Marlowe as Peron's Mistress
Caiti is thrilled to be here singing her favorite score! She is a South Florida native whose favorite roles include Sandy (Grease, MNM Theatre Company), Kristine (A Chorus Line, The Wick Theatre), Edythe Herbert (My One and Only, Broward Stage Door), Elle Woods (Legally Blonde, LWP), and Wendy Jo (Footloose, Cortland Rep). Proud Emerson College Graduate. Thrilled to finally share the stage with my love, Sean. Love and gratitude to Kit and Kev. caitimarlowe.com / @_caiti
Andrew M. Kurtz
Music & Executive Director
Gulf Coast Symphony founder Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz enters his twenty-sixth season as the Symphony’s Music & Executive Director, and conductor. His deep rooted commitment to new work, community and education, combined with a vibrant artistic vision has led to creating and nurturing one of the most dynamic arts organizations in the region. His conducting has been called “passionate, expansive, expert, and musical.” He was named the 2007 Performing Artist of the Year at Lee County’s Angel of the Arts Awards. Kurtz’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including symphonic, opera, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.
An avid arts educator, Maestro Kurtz was Resident Music Director at the Luzerne Music Center. Kurtz is a past-president of the board of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Dell’Arte di Firenze International Conducting Competition, and made his European conducting debut in Florence. In 1995, Kurtz made his international operatic debut in Tel Aviv while working as a staff conductor at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. In 1997, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational tour production of The Best of Puccini. He was a scholarship conducting student at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and boasts numerous other conducting credits, including the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, and the Ocean City Pops.
Kurtz completed his doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s degree in music history and a bachelor of arts in music and drama. A native of Philadelphia, Kurtz has called Southwest Florida home for more than 28 years, where he currently resides with his wife, Julie, and their son, Benjamin.
~Denotes Gulf Coast Chamber Orchestra member.
Molly Goodwin, Stage Manager
Molly Goodwin recently completed a 9-month international tour of Sister Act in Singapore, Manila, China, Tokyo, and Seoul, and she spent the 2016 holiday season as the Production Assistant for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Her previous National Tour credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, Ghost, West Side Story, Blast, and Legally Blonde. Regional Credits include: Santa Fe Opera (Santa Fe, NM), The Warehouse Theatre (Greenville, SC), Creede Rep (Creede, CO), The Commonweal Theatre Co (Lanesboro, MN), and Timber Lake Playhouse (Mt. Carroll, IL). She has managed the live entertainment aboard Holland America cruise ships sailing to destinations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and Alaska. Notable grad school credit: Celine Dion’s A NEW DAY: Live in Las Vegas. Goodwin holds a BA in Theatre/Dance from Luther College (Decorah, IA) and is a summa cum laude graduate with an MFA in Stage Management from UNLV (Las Vegas, NV). A native Midwesterner, Molly has called the road her home since 2008.
Christian Londos, Technical/Lighting Director
Christian Londos is a technical director with a background in lighting design and scenic design. Christian has a passion for story telling and contributing to the larger aesthetic of each production. He holds a BFA in Technical Theatre from Florida Southern College in Lakeland Florida.
Tinesha Tutt, Sound Designer
Tinesha Tutt is a live audio engineer from Jacksonville, FL. Her technical theatre degree led her to her most recent work with Holland America Cruise Lines and Disney On Ice Tour. She’s thrilled to be back in the entertainment industry and thanks GCS for welcoming her onboard for Evita.
Hana Suarez, Audio Technician
Diana Waldier, Wardrobe Coordinator
Michelle Kasanofsky, Rehearsal Pianist
Michelle Kasanofsky has been playing piano for almost 56 years and is a professional musician as well as a music educator. Michelle received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied jazz piano there as well as studying classical piano at Boston University. She completed her B.A. degree in performance cum laude at Dowling College in Oakdale, New York where she studied classical pedagogy under the tutelage of the world renowned piano maestro, Dr. Carlo Lombardi. Michelle continued on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Music Education from C. W. Post Long Island University in Greenvale, New York in 1998 and in 2016 completed her Education Leadership Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Haydn, Dvorak, and more performed by talented faculty from the Sarasota Music Conservatory
Jodi Benson, David Burnham, and Marc Cedric Smith perform film and Broadway favorites.