Watch Eden Espinosa Take On the Role of Eva Perón in Evita

Eden Espinosa (Wicked) and Tony winner Anthony Crivello (Kiss of the Spiderwoman) currently lead Evita at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Jackson Hall in Nashville, Tennessee. With performances set to run through September 18, the production has released footage of the stars in action.

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Studio Tenn and TPAC make history with sensational 'Evita'

The opening of a new theatrical season is always cause for celebration. But those who gathered at Jackson Hall on Friday evening for Studio Tenn and TPAC’s much-anticipated production of “Evita” witnessed more than just a sensational performance – they saw history in the making.

The ambitious staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical marks the first time in TPAC’s 34-year history that the nonprofit has teamed up with a local theatre company to design and build a show for its Broadway series. I have a feeling it won’t be the last.

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Studio Tenn's Stunning EVITA Makes History on Opening Night With Powerful Performances

As assured and confident as any long-running musical now - or ever, for that matter - on Broadway, the altogether worldly and completely engaging production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, playing at Andrew Jackson Hall through September 18, gives Nashville audiences the kind of exceptional theater experience they've come to expect from Studio Tenn.

Broadway veterans Eden Espinosa, Anthony Crivello and the scene-stealing Ben Crawford lend an air of mainstem sophistication and panache to the show, to be sure, yet they are surrounded by a cast of Nashville-based actors, singers and dancers who underscore our city's self-proclaimed moniker of "Music City" to absolute perfection, lending credence to the belief that all music made in Nashville - country or otherwise, but particularly musical theater music - is of higher quality than that created elsewhere.

Actually, this particular production goes far beyond what we've seen from the company to this point: While we've been impressed (maybe "gobsmacked" is more to the point) by what we've seen in the past from Studio Tenn's Matt Logan and Jake Speck, what we get from their Evita is the unexpected. It's a high-flying spectacle that engages and delights, sweeping audiences into a higher realm of theater that was perhaps alluded to in those earlier shows, but which remained tantalizingly out-of-reach. You knew, instinctively, that it was within their grasp but they needed a bigger venue to show off exactly what they were capable of doing onstage.

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Studio Tenn and Tennessee Performing Arts Center: Evita

First time collaborators Studio Tenn and TPAC co-produce the classic Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita. Studio Tenn’s Artistic Director Matt Logan not only directs the production but lends his talents to the production’s costume and set design. Learn how Matt illustrates Evita’s emotional journey through costume.

Evita
September 9 – 18, 2016
Andrew Jackson Hall at Tennessee Performing Arts Center
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243

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TPAC Teams With Local Company Studio Tenn to Present the Ambitious Evita

Eva Perón was a controversial figure. After escaping the poverty of her youth, Maria Eva Duarte rose to fame as Argentina’s beloved first lady. Once in power with husband Juan Perón, she orchestrated a sympathetic relationship with her nation’s peasant classes while posing as an elegant world figure. Was Eva a corrupt and self-centered despot, or a saintly savior of her people?

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 musical Evita grapples with these historical issues. Its worldwide success — including a 1996 film starring Madonna — is well-documented. Now Franklin’s Studio Tenn Theatre Company makes some history of its own by joining with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to open TPAC’s 2016-17 Broadway Series season with the Rice/Webber opus. This collaboration represents the first time in TPAC’s 34-year history that a local theater company has been accorded such an opportunity. 

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Studio Tenn & TPAC's Production of "Evita"

Matt Logan along with Broadway veterans Eden Espinosa and Anthony Crivello took us behind the scenes of Studio Tenn and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s new production of the smash hit musical “Evita”.  See “Evita” inside TPAC’s Jackson Hall September 9-18. Get tickets and more information at www.tpac.org.

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THEATRE: EVITA! TPAC! STUDIO TENN!

“We are so honored and proud to be the first local company ever to design, build, and co-produce a show for TPAC’s prestigious Broadway series,” says Jake Speck, Studio Tenn’s managing director. “This historic collaboration will showcase the incredible creative capacities of both Nashville and New York in a way that’s never been done before.”

This month it’s going to be a bonafide big deal when the Tennessee Performing Arts Center launches its 2016–17 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway season with a stunning new production of EVITA starring Broadway powerhouse Eden Espinosa (Wicked, Brooklyn the Musical, RENT) as Eva Perón. This exciting new collaboration combines the brightest talents of New York and Nashville and marks Studio Tenn’s first inclusion as part of TPAC’s annual Broadway series. And it’s the first time TPAC has welcomed a local Nashville theatre company into its Broadway spotlight. The production, including sets and costumes, is being built and cultivated from Nashville’s local creative community, with Perón’s life story as inspiration.

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Hits, Nashville ties dominate TPAC's Broadway lineup

In fact, the upcoming Broadway season opens in September with “Evita,” produced in collaboration with TPAC by the Franklin-based professional theater company Studio Tenn. Espinosa (“Wicked,” “Brooklyn the Musical,” “Rent”), who will take on the title role, delivered a powerful rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” during the event.

Studio Tenn explores genius of Ray Charles

Whether it was gospel, rhythm and blues, country or rock and roll, Ray Charles had a way of bringing his own unique style to every song he ever sang. And with “The Ray Legacy: A Tribute to the Soulful Genius,” Studio Tenn Theatre Company promises a unique celebration of Charles’ vast influence and unmistakable sound.

As with the company’s previous Legacy productions, “The Ray Legacy” offers no narration or dialogue. But according to artistic director Matt Logan, this “theatrical concert” format “allows the music to speak for itself.”

“One of the things that really separated Ray Charles was his ability to interpret the music,” he says. “His stylistic diversity allows us to go a little deeper, looking at some of his early stuff and exploring different sounds. It’s a fine line, because we certainly don’t want it to feel like a cover band. And yet we don’t want to lose those elements that are identifiable as Ray, either.”