October 10, 2015
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Tony nominee reinvents Che in ‘Evita’ at PPAC

Rhode Island scores again, opening the National Tour of an all-new production of “Evita” before the Tony Award-winning musical heads out for long runs at major cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, L.A. and Vegas.

I caught up with Josh Young, a Tony nominee for his role as Judas in the revival of “Jesus Christ, Super Star” on Broadway, while he was rehearsing in New York City for the Providence opening.

“The role of Che has been completely redefined,” he said. “Nowhere in the original script does it say that Che is Che Guevera.

“Che is actually another word for ‘guy,’ and I play him as the narrator, just one of the workers in the crowd. It’s an interesting take on the role.”

The Philadelphia native earned a BFA from Syracuse University and found an opportunity to use his acting skills at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, where he has now made his home.

“It is the best place for an actor to work,” he said.

The rising star has earned Broadway World awards for his roles as Che and Judas and has starred in the National Tour of “Les Miz” and the International Tour of ”West Side Story.” He played the role of Connie Rivers in “The Grapes of Wrath,” which is now playing across town at Trinity.

“Evita” is the story of Eva Peron, who used her beauty and charisma to rise from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as the First Lady. The musical is actually a rare tragedy in musical theatre history.

“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” is the most memorable song.

“Evita” is at the Providence Performing Arts Center from Sunday (a rare opening day, with performances at 1 and 6:30 p.m.) through Saturday, Sept. 14. For tickets, ranging from $43 to $80, call 421-2787.

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