“I think it’s a masterpiece,” exulted Will Pomerantz after a performance of Evita at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. True, he is the director of this lively production with its mainly Latino cast, and he should have bragging rights for his fine work, but he was thinking larger on opening weekend. This very special production made many rethink the well-worn Andrew Lloyd Webber/ Tim Rice musical most associated with songs so familiar you can sing along, Patti LuPone as Evita (or Madonna in the movie), maybe Ricky Martin as Che, stars who made it famous in its Broadway debut and revivals. Bay Street’s production refocuses its epic, historic, sweeping themes: celebrity, revolution, romance and love, and makes them intimate.
This Evita, Arianna Rosario, has especially lovely, powerhouse chops: it was all the more surprising to learn at show’s end that having committed herself to dance, Arianna Rosario only recently began to train vocally. Other exceptional performers include Dakota Quackenbush (a 7th grader at East Hampton High), Gabi Campo, and Kyle Barisich, and the dancers. Trent Saunders, a most versatile performer, will return to Aladdin on Broadway, in the fall. Evita ends in “Lament,” but the audience leaves enraptured.