Judging by our day spent with the cast of Evita, the artistic director Nikolai Foster, choreographer Adam Murray, the musical director Ben Van Tienen and musical supervisor Stephen Brooker audiences are going to come away on a Rainbow High when Evita hits the stage from November 27th to January 13th.
Myself (Phil Lowe) and my musical theatre friend Amanda were warmly welcomed into the Evita rehearsal and entered the large rehearsal space to the sound of the cast doing a vocal warm up. Comfortably seated we watched with great pleasure as their rehearsal began in earnest. For most of the morning we watched and learnt as choreographer Adam Murray and Lee Bridgman the associate choreographer worked with the cast on the ‘And The Money Kept Rolling In’ number. This involved a huge curved staircase and a lot of musical and muscle memory needed by the cast in the ever-evolving choreography. In the break Adam Murray told us that his choreography design ideas for the forthcoming musical were based on a deconstructing and blending the body languages and disciplines of Tango dance, military action and propaganda style posters – plus natural movement.
Artistic Director Nikolai told us about his vision for Curve’s Evita and that it is based on ideas around a woman’s ambitious social and political climb in a male dominated world. He emphasised that Curve’s Evita musical wasn’t just about the familiar historical story of 1940s/1950s Eva Péron. It also incorporates a more contemporary vision; embracing and encompassing a dynamic but stripped back presentation that would be understandable and exciting to our 21st Century society. With a smile he said “You know Curve – we like to offer something a bit different. I think our audiences are going to find it stunning. Michael Taylor has created an incredible set and Joshie Harriette’s lighting is wonderful. ” He also mentioned that Curve would be using Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original score for its beauty and dynamic rawness.
We got to hear Tyrone Huntley as Che singing and acting ‘And The Money Kept Rolling In’ with the ensemble during the morning rehearsal.
and in the afternoon the whole cast got seated and went through the finale of Evita – a very complex thing to sing. Some of the group singing was done to piano accompaniment which then progressed to a full orchestra sounding track with and without beats. I can assure any readers of this and audience members that the singing is super top quality. My friend Amanda who has been involved in high quality amateur musical theatre said that she felt like one of the ensemble in her head as the company were put through their ‘Montage’ musical paces by the musical director Ben Van Tienen and musical supervisor Stephen Brooker.
We graciously thank Nikolai and all at Curve including Billy the cutest theatre dog, for allowing us access to sit in and watch and learn from the Evita rehearsal. We are even more excited now about coming to see and review the show on press night.