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April 11, 1994 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-11

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 11, 1994-9

'Evita' is stilEimortal
Talent of Detroiter adds to the classic musical

By JASON CARROLL
Nineteen years ago Andrew Lloyd Webber met with
Tim Rice and together they penned what would become
the musical "Evita." It is amazing that after so many years
audiences still pack themselves into theaters to see the rise
of Eva Peron, wife of Juan Peron, the powerful President
of Argentina whose reign spanned three decades.
"Evita" chronicles Eva's life, beginning with her as-
cension to power and ending with her sudden, untimely
death. She rose from hustler, to B-movie actress, to the
wife of Juan Peron. Eva became immensely popular with
the public and used her close connections to the govern-
ment to support her own political motives.
Toward the end of her short life (she died of cancer at
33), she created the Eva Peron Foundation, an organiza-
tion that helped her popularity soar among those who
benefited from it. But, at the time, no one really knew
about the darker side of the Peron administration. Eva was
worshipped like a goddess.
The plot of the musical is told through the character
Che, an Argentine student. There is no evidence that Che
ever met Eva in actuality. His purpose changes throughout
the play, but most often serves as a narrator, observer and
critic of Eva's actions.
In the current touring production coming to Detroit's
Fisher Theatre this Tuesday, Che is played by Daniel
Cooney, a native Detroiter who grew up in Westland. I
recently had the opportunity to talk with Cooney via
telephone from Cincinnati.
Cooney attended Henry Ford Community College for
a year when he decided he "wanted to be an actor, but
didn't think it was feasible." He moved to Florida and
landed a job at a dinner theater to help realize his dream.
A few months later he moved to New York and eventually
landed the role of Marius in the Broadway company of
"Les Misdrables."
Touring has played a major role in Cooney's theatrical
career. "I really like touring - the money is better and I
don't really have any ties. I've been on this tour for 10

months now, and it's not really grueling for me. I can't
stand being in one place for too long. I really enjoy being
in a different city each week," he said.
Cooney has toured in many different productions
including "Jesus Christ Superstar," "West Side Story,"
"Grease," "Oklahoma" and "Carousel." "I enjoy working
in rock operas. I'm most comfortable singing those roles.
I loved playing Judas in 'Superstar.' The vocal and emo-
tional range is huge, and belting it out eight times a week
is definitely a challenge."
It is important for actors to get along with everyone in
the company while touring, since they see each other
almost every night. Cooney said he and his supporting cast
have a great working relationship, "I really enjoy working
with everyone involved in the show. Donna Marie Ashbury
(Evita), a veteran of numerous musicals, and David
Brummel (Peron) give 108 percent to every show."
Recently, Broadway has suffered from a lack of inge-
nuity and diversity. Cooney commented, "Theatre has had
a hard time during the recession, but it is kicking back in
right now. There are a lot of revivals coming out and I
think we'll be seeing a lot more in the future. They are the
safe bet. It's all about money. It's unfortunate that no one
looks to theater as a teacher or point of view."
Cooney is a huge fan of country music and has just
begun work on a solo album. "On tour I picked up the
guitar I played while I was a kid, and I got together with
some guys in the orchestra we're going to record a demo
tape. It's at the beginning stages but I really enjoy it."
Whether on the stage or in the studio Cooney is
definitely a talent to be reckoned with. His versatility in
the performing arts will definitely be a great addition to
"Evita," an already classic musical theater piece.
EVITA will run April 12th throuzh 17th at the Fisher
Theatre (3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit.)
Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees on
Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $25-$47.50. Call
645-6666 for tickets or 872-1000 for more information.

Yes, folks, in case you've
missed those one and two-page
ads in the newspapers, the rumors
are true, brace yourselves-Elton
John and Billy Joel are going on
tour together. And they're even
making a stop in Detroit. Antici-
pating the rush for seats to their
August 4th concert, they've de-
* cided to play the Pontiac
Silverdome, which seats 80,000
plus, perhaps at the expense of
good acoustics. But that's no rea-
son to miss them -- it's sure to be
a smash. Tickets go on sale today
at 10 a.m.. - oh my gosh! What
time is it?'- at all TicketMaster
outlets. Tickets range from $46 to
$86, depending on seat location.
(Hey, what are you complaining
about? They could be charging
$300like Streisand is.) Don't miss
what's likely tobe oneofthe great-
est concerts in history.

Golden Key
N.H.S.
INDUCTION CEREMONY

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I

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