PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "Ensemble By Day, Eva By Night!" A Two-Show Day With Evita's Jessica Lea Patty
By Matthew Blank
Jessica Lea Patty shares a unique two-show day at Broadway's Evita. With leading lady Elena Roger on vacation, Patty had the opportunity to star as Eva Peron twice over the course of the week. She documents the rare experience of performing in the ensemble and starring as Evita on the very same day.
"Being an 'Eva' understudy carries an immense amount of responsibility," says Patty. "In such a grand, large-scale musical production as Evita, my ensemble track presents its own unique physical and vocal challenges every day -- so on the rare occasion when I am Ensemble by day and Eva by night, things like rest, concentration and preparation are all the more important!"
"Going from a young 15-year-old girl, to the headstrong first lady of a nation, to an ailing woman on her deathbed, requires a lot of mental preparation before the show. I also have a very specific vocal warmup, along with a thorough physical warmup that differs quite a bit from my everyday ensemble track."
"One of the most challenging parts of being an Eva understudy is not getting to do it very often, so every show presents itself with new discoveries -- in front of 1,500 people! But it's a thrilling challenge I'm eager to take on, and so lucky to have."
Directed by Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage and choreographed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita began previews March 12 and opened April 5 at The Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway).
The cast is headed by Grammy winner Ricky Martin as Che, Olivier Award winner Elena Roger in her Broadway debut as Eva Perón, Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón, Max von Essen (Dance of the Vampires, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Magaldi and Rachel Potter (The Addams Family) as the Mistress.
Christina DeCicco (Sister Act) is the alternate for Eva Perón and plays the role of Eva Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees.
Rounding out the cast are Ashley Amber, George Lee Andrews, Wendi Bergamini, Eric L. Christian, Kristine Covillo, Colin Cunliffe, Margot de La Barre, Bradley Dean, Rebecca Eichenberger, Melanie Field, Jennie Ford, Maya Jade Frank, Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines, Constantine Germanacos, Laurel Harris, Nick Kenkel, Brad Little, Erica Mansfield, Emily Mechler, Isabela Moner, Sydney Morton, Jessica Lea Patty, Aleks Pevec, Kristie Dale Sanders, Timothy Shew, Michaeljon Slinger, Johnny Stellard, Alex Michael Stoll, Daniel Torres and Matt Wall.
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