White Plains Actor Draws On Family History For Role In 'Evita'

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Archbishop Stepinac High School is staging a production of "Evita" this weekend and next weekend. Photo Credit: Stepinac High School
Chris Guzman will portray Che, a narrator, in Archbishop Stepinac High School's production of "Evita." Photo Credit: Stepinac High School

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – White Plains junior Chris Guzman brings a unique perspective to the role of Che in Archbishop Stepinac High School’s production of “Evita,” which opened this weekend.

Guzman’s grandmother lived in Colombia when Eva Peron, the central figure in “Evita,” was championing women’s suffrage and labor rights in Argentina. To prepare for the role of Che, a cynical narrator who takes the audience through Peron’s rise to power, Guzman said he talked to his grandmother to get a first-hand account of what it was like in those days. Similar movements occurred in Colombia, he learned.

The aspiring actor won best supporting actor last year for his role in Stepinac’s production of “Phantom of the Opera” at the Helen Hayes awards.

“Evita” is the first all-singing show the all-boys Catholic school has staged in its 65-year history, said the drama club director, Frank Portanova.

“We are thrilled to be presenting 'Evita,'" Portanova said. “It is our first non-book musical, meaning it has no dialogue. It is a rock opera that is completely sung. In addition, the timing could not be more perfect as the newly elected pope, Pope Francis, hails from Argentina, Eva Peron’s homeland. He was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.”

Nearly 100 people are a part of this production, including the cast and crew. Alongside Guzman, Jessica Lynch of Briarcliff Manor will play the leading female role as Eva Peron and Anthony Macchiano of Mount Vernon will portray her husband, Juan Peron. 

Female cast and crew members come from nearby high schools such as Maria Regina High School, Good Counsel Academy, Harrison High School, Rye Neck High School, Blind Brook High School, White Plains High School, Hackley High School, Edgemont High School, Lincoln High School, Briarcliff High School and Yonkers High School.

The show opened Friday and continues Saturday as well as May 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. and May 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and children under 12 and can be purchased by calling 914-946-4800 Ext. 200. 

For more information got to www.stepinac.org, email: theatre@stepinac.org or visit the school's drama club Facebook page

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