What matters more, however, are the performances by the leads. Joey Panek scores surprisingly well as Che—surprising, at least, for those who’ve seen him on the Apple stage recently in a very different role as a young comedy writer in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Panek delivers his Evita zingers with punch, and the scenes where he and Evita (Rachel Anton) finally get to confront each other are strong, as is the Che-led And the Money Keeps Rolling In number.
Anton as Evita is not the package one expects after seeing the show and its marketing images countless times. Physically, she is not the petite and, eventually, frail type, and that works against her at times. She sings the demanding score well, but her Evita does not dominate the stage from the outset as she should. And she and Jorge Acosta as Peron have not had time to develop any chemistry in their numbers together, although it could happen later in the run.