The first British musical to receive a Tony Award for Best Musical is back.
Evita was released as a rock opera concept album in 1976. The musical opened in 1978 in London’s West End and immediately went on to Broadway one year later. Madonna and Antonio Banderas starred in the film version of Evita released Jan. 10, 1997. Between revivals in both London and Broadway, the musical will now be celebrating its Los Angeles return at the Hollywood Pantages.
Evita takes place in Argentina and follows the charismatic character of Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón, on her journey as she transforms from a poor girl in the slums to the first lady in a presidential mansion. Following one of the most controversial heads of state at the time, Evita tells the tragic tale of Eva Perón’s life.
Josh Young plays the character of Che, who serves as the narrator and Greek chorus in the musical, leading the audience through the life of Eva Perón. Young has played similar roles in different productions throughout his life in the performing arts.
“It’s similar to Judas [from Jesus Christ Superstar], as both plays are written by the same person,” Young said. “Che is a narrator and he’s also part of the story, same as Judas. … I don’t know a lot of other shows who have the type of character who’s integral to the story in telling.”
“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” and “High Flying, Adored” are just a few of theater’s iconic numbers. Young, however, holds a different song close to his heart.
“I love the song ‘And The Money Kept Rolling In,’” Young said. “It’s kind of where foundation takes hold. Everybody’s essentially singing and dancing to their heart’s content. It’s all about granting wishes, giving gifts.”
Though theater-goers might enjoy the songs and the musical itself, what often goes unseen is how there are always challenges when theater performers go on tour.
“The thing is that you have to leave your family and friends behind when you go on tour,” Young said. “It’s integral to the job. I had to leave my dog with my folks.”
Though this is Evita’s first time back on the West Coast in a while, Young can’t say the same. The young actor has performed and worked with composers at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. Young is excited to be back in the beautiful state of California.
As an actor, Young seeks to inspire other aspiring actors or those looking to pursue a career in the performing arts. According to Young, the key to a strong performance lies within each performer.
“What you are is enough,” Young said. “All you need to bring to a part is your past experiences. You are enough.”
One of Young’s greatest inspirations from working in the theater business is the new composers he meets along the way.
“I haven’t gotten the chance to do that in a while. It’s great because you can tell that sometimes one of those composers is going to be the next Broadway headliner. It’s great to sit in the room as they make little changes to their pieces, to know that one day kids could be using their songs for audition songs in college or in training.”
Young claims that Les Miserables was the show that helped him realize that theater was going to become his life, and that it was the thing that made him happy more than anything.
For aspiring theater actors, Young suggests caution.
“I would say to them: if there’s anything in the world that you enjoy doing that you can make money at, do that instead,” Young said. “But if you can’t see yourself doing anything else, anything’s possible. It’s a very difficult career. You need to take a look in the mirror and evaluate where you stand next to people and [the] industry as a whole. Ask other people questions of what they think before you go to try to go out there.”
Evita opens at the Hollywood Pantages today and will play until Nov. 10. Tickets start at $32.
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