After what it describes as “significant internal deliberation,” College Light Opera Company has decided to cancel its run of the Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Evita” scheduled for August 13 through 17 at Highfield Theatre in Falmouth.
“This decision was made in conjunction with our mission to eliminate misrepresentation and appropriation of marginalized communities in theatre,” a press release from the Company states.
In an effort to facilitate discussion of the topic, the company is holding an evening for dialogue with the community, moderated by Joe Wilson Jr. of the Trinity Repertory Company on Friday, August 16, at 5:30 PM at Highfield Hall.
Some controversy has surrounded the musical in the past when theater companies were criticized for not casting Latin Americans in principal roles. “Evita” tells the story of Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine President Juan Perón.
In place of “Evita,” the College Light Opera Company is moving its ninth show of the season, “Knickerbocker Holiday,” originally scheduled for August 20 through 24, into its place and adding the musical “Godspell” as its ninth and final show.
“Knickerbocker Holiday” is a 1938 musical written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson and loosely based on Washington Irving’s “Father Knickerbocker’s Stories” about life in 17th-century New Netherland (old New York). The musical contains “September Song,” which was recorded by numerous singers and instrumentalists after being used in the 1950 film “September Affair.”
The show will be under the stage direction of Bryce Pinkham and musical director Todd Florin. Principals include Jeffrey Laughrum as the protagonist From Broeck and Laura Lydia Paruzynski as his love interest Tina Tienhoven. Logan Hoy Tucker plays Governor Stuyvesant, and Carlyn Barenholtz is the narrator — Washington Irving.
CLOC will hold its pre-show lecture on the history of “Knickerbocker Holiday,” August 16 at 7 PM at Highfield Hall.
The show will be running from August 13 to 17 at 8 PM, with a matinee August 15 at 2 PM. Tickets are $35 and are available online or by calling or visiting the CLOC box office.
Both “Knickerbocker” and “Godspell” will be College Light Opera Company premieres.
“Godspell” was the first major musical theater offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz. It took the world by storm when it premiered off-Broadway in 1971. Led by the international hit, “Day by Day,” Godspell features a parade of beloved songs, including “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”
Anyone holding tickets for “Evita” can contact the box office if they would like to exchange them. Ticket holders can email the box-office with their request at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the box office at 508-548-0668, or visit the box office during business hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Tuesday through Saturday 7 to 9 PM.