“Evita,” a show about the real life Argentinian first Lady Evita Person, is now playing until June 1 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. For more information go to www.arshtcenter.org. Stay tuned for a review of the play.
Caroline Bowman, a sister feminist, plays Eva Peron in “Evita” and wooed me with her passion for acting and her negative reaction toward all online criticism. It’s nice to see a strong women with the conference to own such a role.
The schedule sounds like a lot. I mean, eight shows in five days?
C: I do six shows. “Evita” from the beginning has always been like that. There has always been Eva alternate, who does two a week. So I kind of lucked out and got the six-show-a-week job, because it is so demanding. I really don’t think any human being should do this show twice a day, as Eva Peron. So, sometimes, I guess, the schedule is a little hard. A week is good. I did the “Spamalot” tour where we were doing one-nighters, it was much less luxurious than this, so I am grateful for a break here and there. I actually prefer one night in the city because it keeps the tour moving and we always have full houses because people are like “Oh gotta go see it.”
Do you find, then, that you do opening night differently every time?
C: I’de to think not. I mean I try to do the same show every day, depending on how I feel, or my voice, but I go out there and I give 150 percent every day. And there’s no real way I can’t go all in with this role. I mean its kind of all or nothing. But…It’s my job and my responsibility, even if I don’t feel 100 percent about my performance afterward.
Do you find you’re harder on yourself than any critic?
C: Yeah, I tend not to read reviews anymore. I read a couple in the beginning. The thing is, not everyone is going to like me no matter how hard I work, and no matter how much I put into it. So, what I have to do is be proud of my work I’m doing and If I went out there and didn’t give 150 percent every night, I would feel guilty. I would feel disappointed in myself. I prevent the disappointment by doing my hardest and working my best and realize that that is all I can do…You read 100 great reviews and you read the one bad review and it sticks with you and it messes with you.
Did you use Madonna’s version as a reference?
C: No, I’m not anything like Madonna, but it’s definitely a good resource. I don’t think I’m doing anything that anyone else out there is doing with the role because I’m not really like anyone who has ever played the role, I think. But, Madonna was a good idea at the time. She is literally Madonna and she is a feminist and she has a lot of qualities Eva Peron possess so I mean why not.
If you could work with anyone ever, dead or alive, who would it be?
C: Meryl Streep. If I could do just one scene with her, and soak up her genius, I would feel like I could conquer the world. Because I think she is just magnificent. She’s like a real human being.
Any men that you would like to work with?
C: Oh gosh, nah! No I’m just kidding. I’m sure there’s multiple geniuses out there … Let’s take back Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. Let’s bring him back. I think he can do anything, or could do anything.
Krystina Alabano, who plays the mistress, among many other roles discuses her gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to be apart of this ensemble.
What does that entail?
K: So my main role on stage is a five minute segment where Evita comes to Juan Peron’s house for the first time. I appear and she kicks me out of the house (I’m living there) and throws my clothes at me. Then I sing the song I sang today for you guys. So that is my section as mistress. Other than that, I’m in the ensemble as a bunch of different characters. I’m a worker, I’m a maid, I’m a secretary. So I bounce around in other ensemble pieces.
That’s cool, but then that’s a lot of work.
K: It is. I do full ensemble track plus I have my song. I’m pretty much up there the whole time. It’s really fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I looked at the schedule and it’s eight shows during the span of five days.
K: Yeah, it’s two on Saturday, two on Sunday and then one a night for the rest of the week so it’s a lot. It’s good stamina building, vocally and physically, but you kind of get used to it. I’ve been in this business now for like six years, so you kind of get used to that demanding schedule. You rest up on your day off.
What’s the worst part about a hectic stage schedule?
K: For me, everything about this is perfect. I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my career…I’ve dreamt about this since I was a little kid so, I’ve been so fortunate that I get to do this for a living.
If you could play any role, ever, what would it be?
K: Nina in In “The Heights.”
Josh Young, who plays Che, openly discusses his entrepreneurial side, which is something a lot of people do not associate with the arts. Young thought up a way to do both.
Who were your biggest inspirations?
J: I really look up to Mandy Patinkin, who was the original Che on Broadway. People know him as Sal from “Homeland.” He also played Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride.” He definitely has talent and a career that I try to emulate.
Your album. How is that different from a production like this?
J: I have two albums. One I produced in 2005, and one was in 2012. The truth is, I was hired to play Tony in the international tour “West Side Story” and I wasn’t happy with the money they were paying me. So I said to them “If I make an album, will you sell it in a stand in every venue around the world? Will you give me all the profits?” and they said yes so I made an album.
It was that simple then?
J: That was it. And then I had a really good time doing it and people were asking me If I’d make another one, and so I did.
They were all covers. Do you ever want to write your own stuff?
J: I don’t have the time. I would, It’s just not my greatest passion. And I’m so busy doing other things, I haven’t had time yet. You know, maybe way down the line.
So, you don’t really want to do that solo pop thing?
J: I would. I’ve got a job right now. It’s hard to go off on tour and do this tour at the same time.
If you had to chose one, what would be your greatest passion, music or acting?
J: See, I can’t separate the two. Because when I’m singing, I’m acting. So, to me, they go together. All singing is storytelling and all storytelling is acting.
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?
J: I had the opportunity to work with Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean from “Les Mis.” I got to sing with him in a concert, where he won his lifetime achievement award in Toronto, Canada two weeks ago.
If you could play any character, what would it be?
J: Billy Bigelow in “Carousel.” But I’m really into new plays right now, so we’ll see.
Sean MacLaughlin, who plays Juan Peron, is a man after my own heart. We bonded over our mutual obsession for “Sweeney Todd.” Anything Tim Burton is a part of I devour, and MacLaughlin, it seems, has a similar squeal at the mention of the play or movie. The dark love story also appeals to MacLaughlin, because, as he says, it is so far from him in real life, that it would be fun to get into that dark space.
If you could play any character, what would it be?
S: Yeah to be able to do that [play Sweeney Todd] towards the end of my life.
What’s your favorite song in “Sweeney Todd?”
S: I would have to say that piece toward the end, where he is dreaming about becoming himself again and he is just going through the motions of quote unquote cutting the hair, that whole part of the Johanna.
So what are your favorite and least favorite parts about traveling?
S: I love traveling. Hitting every city, seeing every audience, performing for every audience. Learning the different areas is probably the best part because you get to experience the city you’re in when you’re on tour and be a part of the culture, and be a part of the society. I drive. Everyone flies, but I [drive], because I loving seeing the country so much. I travel with my wife, my two dogs and my baby. It was quite different when I was traveling by myself, but now with a full family it takes longer.
If you could work with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
S: Seth McFarlane. I mean, I love him. I’m a hug fan.