A.R.T.’s ‘Evita’ comes to Cambridge in the spring, while Harvard has filed to move theater to Allston
After the current run of “Life of Pi,” the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square stages a Chaucerian comedy and a new revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera “Evita,” the American Repertory Theater announced Tuesday.
“Evita” runs May 14 to July 16 directed by Sammi Cannold, the youngest female director in A.R.T. history, as an evolution of a concert version staged at the New York City Center in 2019. It is produced in association with the Shakespeare Theatre Co.
The announcement comes after Harvard’s filing of plans Friday for the next home of the A.R.T. in Allston – a 68,000-square-foot building with 700-seat and 300-seat theaters, rehearsal and office space at 175 N. Harvard St. (Plans were also filed for an accompanying 14-story residential tower.) The move was announced in 2019 but plans still need approval because they replace a 2013 vision for the site around a 3,000-seat basketball arena.
A Harvard spokesperson was asked Tuesday for an expected completion date for the drama center and relocation of the theater, which has been in on Brattle Street since 1980, but there was no immediate response.
The Tony-winning musical “Evita” follows Eva Perón’s rise to first lady of Argentina before her death in 1952 at 33. Ongoing research in Argentina is a “north star” for a production that will examine the story “from a female and Argentine perspective, portraying this woman as a humanized icon and seeing Evita’s troubled teenage years as a dark, problematic backdrop lingering behind her dazzling 20s and 30s,” Cannold said in a press release. “It’s simply a dream come true to be launching a fully realized new revival.”
“I began interning at the A.R.T. when I was 18 years old and have since had the privilege of working on 10 productions there. To be directing the single piece of art that means the most to me at the theater I call home is pretty surreal,” Cannold said.
Cannold’s history at the A.R.T. includes “Endlings” in 2019, which used a 4,100-gallon aquarium in which actors swam, and a production of “Violet” staged on a moving bus.
Before that comes “The Wife of Willesden,” directed by Indhu Rubasingham and adapted by Zadie Smith (perhaps best known as the author of “White Teeth”) from Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath.” It plays Feb. 25 to March 18 in a North American premiere coming from London’s Kiln Theatre.
Now playing in Cambridge is the North American premiere of “Life of Pi,” a stage adaptation of the bestselling novel by Yann Martel. Adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti and directed by Max Webster, it began its run Dec. 4 and continues through Jan. 29 with the story of 16-year-old Pi, who sets off with family to emigrate from India but is left stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger after their ship sinks in the middle of the ocean.
The three plays cost from $99 to $195. Tickets for individual plays go on sale later. All will be staged at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square.