No, I didn't get the part, but I'm still in show biz -- I might
not be on stage, but I'll be in the Hale Hall Drama Center on
the opening night of "Evita" -- as PR manager!
It's just as well. If I had gotten the role, I would have had to
be in every rehearsal, beginning March 8. That kind of a time
commitment would have just about ruined me for everything else
But as my "consolation prize," the Turtle Bay Theater Society
asked if I'd like to do PR for the show, and said, Oh, by the
way, there's $250 in the budget for "PR Services"... which is
just what I need for airfare home at spring break!
Not only that, but since "Evita" opens April 15 and plays
both that weekend and the next (Thurs., Fri. and Sat. night, with
2:30 matinees on both Sat. and Sun.) I would have been completely
preoccupied during the very time that I should be studying for
midterms. Ten performances (plus a preview on Wed. before
opening) would have just about worn me out; with an 8:00 curtain
time, it would be 11:00 before I'd be out of the dressing room and
on my way home.
Another good thing: I've promised four couples I'd get them in to
see "Evita" -- eight tickets = $80 that I've committed. I just
found out that cast members are only entitled to two tickets, so
that turned out to be an expensive commitment I made. However,
as the PR person, I'm entitled to all the "promotional" tickets I
ask for. So not only am I making my airfare -- I'm avoiding $80
in costs. In short, I'm damn lucky I didn't get the role I
By the way, you've heard me play the album, but I don't know if
you know this is a musical based in real history -- about Eva
Peron, the wife of the Argentine dictator. She was a two-bit
actress in Argentina, making films and doing radio stints -- her
enemies said she was a hustler on the side, even a prostitute --
and Juan Peron was pretty susceptible to a good-looking woman.
Anyway, she caught his eye, then got involved with him, and then
became Mrs. Peron. Eva was their version of Jackie Kennedy, I
guess you'd say, or maybe Lady Di -- she became even more popular
than her husband the dictator, and she ran all kinds of charities and public causes,
sort of became the spirit of the "new Argentina" that Peron said
he was trying to create.
She died of cancer in 1952, when she was still young. Hence the
show's big song, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." I don't think
you'd know any of the other songs, except maybe "A New
Argentina." The composer (Andrew Lloyd Webber) and lyricist (Tim
Rice) also wrote "Jesus Christ Superstar" and a few other big
hits. Like "JCS", this is a "rock opera" rather than a
traditional "musical" -- there are very few spoken lines, mostly
all the dialog is set to music. The production usually calls for a full
orchestra, but -- hey! it may be "opera" but it's also rock and roll, so we'll do just fine with the Turtle Bay Chamber
Ensemble. They usually play Bach so it will be interesting to see
them play rock.
Laura Jennsen got the title role -- you saw her in last
spring's show, "Candide," as Cunegonde. That was a singing role
that called for an operatic voice, and she was up to the
challenge. Now she'll be performing a rock score. You also met
Harold Stein, you said he looked like a drug dealer? -- he (a) got
a haircut, (b) quit the heavy metal band he sang with (Deadwood),
(c) changed his major to physics(!) and (d) is playing "Che," the
leading male role -- his first time ever on stage (though he was
really popular on the club circuit around here). Jack Wedgewood
is playing Peron, a good role but nothing like Che. The director
was my drama teacher last semester -- you remember Prof. Dale Levensyn?
By the way, if you need to reach me in a hurry again, you
can now leave messages at the Hale Hall Drama Center box office --
309-333-9900. Once tickets go on sale (this Tuesday) it's open
for business every day but Sunday and Monday, 10am-9pm, and it's a
lot more likely that I'll actually get my messages than if you
call at the dorm.