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Tango Gives Life to Sex , Power in "Evita"

"Evita" is playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center through June 1.

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Tango Gives Life to Sex , Power in "Evita"

Photo by RICHARD TERMINE

Carolina Bowman, Josh Young and Sean MacLaughlin star in the national tour of Evita by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford.

Tango gives life to sex and power in the Tony award-winning musical “Evita."

The production was recently revived on Broadway and is now playing at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for a limited engagement.

“Performing on that stage last night was an honor, rather than going out someplace that doesn’t necessarily know the history,” said lead actor Sean MacLaughlin, making reference to South Florida’s large Argentine and Latin community.

“The Tango brings out a lot of emotion,” he said. “Usually Perón is an authoritative type figure, but in this version there’s a lot more sexual desire between Eva and him.”

MacLaughlin plays the infamous former President of Argentina, Juan Perón. “Evita” tells the story of  Perón’s road to power in Argentina during the 40s, and the rise of Eva Duarte from a young unknown actress into one of the most powerful and polarizing first ladies in recent history.

A 16-piece orchestra, including the vibrant sounds of the bandoneón, accompanies Rob Ashford’s sensual choreography.

“It all works together and makes this beautiful Latin explosion,” said actress Krystina Alabado. “I think Tango takes you to a different place... it adds that cultural relevance.”

Alabado takes the role of Perón’s mistress during the time when Eva arrived into his life. The 24-year-old actress is of Mexican descent, and believes her background influences her performance.

“I’ve been really happy to be able to do this, to speak a little Spanish,” she said. “It definitely makes me think about my upbringing.”

Alabado says she had never danced the Tango before, but was able to transmit emotions by breaking down the meaning of every movement.

“To get into that rhythm and that feel, it’s very sexy,” she said. “It feels really good to be able to do that every night.”

Caroline Bowman uses the dance as a tool to give life to Evita. She said the prevalence of Tango in Argentine society kept coming up in her research of the life of Eva Perón.

“That’s when it started to make sense to me that it was more than just dance, and how cool it is that they use it so much in this production,” she said. “I think in our version, we really use Tango as a language.”

This is the first new Broadway production of the musical, which debuted 30 years ago. The show is closing the Broadway in Miami 2013-2014 season. You can catch the sizzling performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center until Sunday, June 1.

See photos of the cast and performance here.

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