"High Flying Adored": Murney Will Be Evita for Sacramento Music Circus

News   "High Flying Adored": Murney Will Be Evita for Sacramento Music Circus Julia Murney, the singing actress acclaimed for her performances on Broadway in Wicked and Off-Broadway in The Wild Party, will tackle another demanding musical theatre role this summer: Eva Peron in Evita.
Julia Murney
Julia Murney

Murney — who will be seen in Playwrights Horizons' upcoming production of the new musical Saved (May 9-June 22) — confirmed to Playbill.com that she will play the wife of Argentinean dictator Juan Peron in the Music Circus season at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, CA.

Glenn Casale will direct the production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, which is scheduled to run Aug. 12-17 at the California venue.

About her newest role, Murney told Playbill.com, "I'm totally intimidated and totally looking forward to it — I've heard it's a great place to work and some girlfriends of mine who have played the role say it's a total blast, so sounds good to me. I've never played the role, and I don't really know the score, so I'm getting on that immediately, as we only rehearse for two weeks. Yay summer stock!"

Evita, which premiered as a two-LP recording starring Julie Covington (Eva) and Colm Wilkinson (Che), features a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics). Hal Prince staged both the original London and New York productions of the musical, which made stars of Elaine Paige (in London) and Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone (on Broadway). The score features such tunes as "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Buenos Aires," "A New Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall," "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" and "Rainbow High." Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce starred in the film version; Elena Roger headed the cast of the London revival.

Julia Murney made her Broadway debut in Lennon and recently completed a lengthy run as Elphaba in the New York company of Wicked. She received a Drama Desk nomination for her work in Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party, and her other theatrical credits include Crimes of the Heart, Time and Again, A Class Act, Cloud 9, Snapshots, Mata Hari and the national tour of Wicked. Murney also portrayed Florence in the Chess benefit concert for The Actors' Fund of America and was part of the all-star Children of Eden concert as well. Her solo CD is titled "I'm Not Waiting." The Music Circus season will kick off with the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music, playing July 5-13. The family favorite will be followed by Gypsy (July 15-20), Sweeney Todd (July 22-27), Swing! (July 29-Aug. 3), My Fair Lady (Aug. 5-10), the aforementioned Evita (Aug. 12-17) and Hairspray (Aug. 19-28). Sound of Music and Hairspray will both offer 12 performances; each of the other musicals will be performed eight times each.

The Music Circus season is presented by California Musical Theatre under the direction of Executive Producer Richard Lewis and Artistic Director Scott Eckern.

The Music Circus is located at 1419 H Street in Sacramento, CA. Subscriptions are now available; single tickets will go on sale May 12; call (916) 557-1999 or visit www.californiamusicaltheatre.com for more information.