The Fairy Princess is weighing in on all the whitewashing – and no, it is not Asian…this time.


It’s the Latinas…they need some intersectional support and TFP gives no f*cks about whether folks agree with her or not – they are going to hear about it.


We need to talk about Latinx folks losing roles that were literally written with them in mind to Caucasian women who belt and can wear a white dress.

What is she talking about?


The musical, EVITA, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice – originally staged by Hal Prince which starred West End legend, Elaine Page in 1978. Now a staple of the American Musical Theater, and currently, a problem.

Follies Set-Ups

When it came to Broadway in 1979, it starred current Broadway legend, of the Italian American House of LuPone, First of her Name, Destroyer of Cell Phones, Khaleesi Against Illegal Taping of Shows, Patti LuPone.


Come back with TFP to the 1970’s…

The year is 1972, Tim Rice the lyricist was able to view Carlos Pasini’s film about the second wife of Argentine President, Juan Peron – Eva Peron. It was called Queen of Hearts. He arranged to watch it over and over again, as well as read anything he could get his hands on about her.

In short, he became obsessed. Obsession with writers is the thing to aim for, because that is how work gets finished –  his need to know more about Eva Peron grew.

Rice did the typical things when one becomes obsessed with a subject – he traveled to Bueno Aires to research her extensively, he named his first daughter after her,


and eventually, he suggested to Andrew Lloyd Webber that they collaborate on a rock opera about her.

They added a character called Che that was loosely based on Che Guevara to act as the Narrator, a giant chorus, and off they went on this delightful rock opera tale of a young girl rising from poverty to power – also, not a bad looker.

Picture taken in the 1940s in Buenos Aires of Eva Peron (1919-52)

That the show was supposed to portray Argentina, was somewhat of a secondary consideration – this was a West End/Broadway musical about a plucky gal from the sticks, who is scolded for her ambition, successes and failures by a man who is an idealist, functioning ironically as commentator.

(He’s like every crunchy guy you dated in college that tells you all about yourself, all the time, in a way that destroys your self esteem, but still makes you fall in love with him – that guy.)

OH – see that, TFP can side comment too….easy Che.


Back to Eva. Who was a real person.

She dies. That is where the magic lay – in the fact that the show was ultimately tragic. What Eva Peron would have done with the rest of her life is anyone’s guess. The Peron’s were, as so many dictators at the time – beloved, feared, and hated. But they were gorgeous.


Eva Peron dyed her hair – this is fact. She was dark tressed – and in all the productions of EVITA, the penultimate moment is when she comes out in a giant white ballgown, as a blonde, and sings “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina.”

Now, because Eva dyed her hair – and because of show business in the 1970’s being what it was – a Latina never played Eva Peron. That she dyed her hair is often used as a justification of having her played by a non-Latina.

Here is the interesting thing about Eva Peron – she was descended from Basque people. Now, the Basque region is a mountainous region that borders France and Spain – let us look at map, TFP loves a map.


See that little tiny orange sliver that is a mountain range?

Well, Eva Peron was descended from that DNA, which has recently been found to be distinct. In fact, it was because the Basques were so isolated, and developed their own language, that they remained in tight knit communities even after many immigrated to countries such as Argentina. It is because of Basque traditions, for example, that Eva Peron’s father could be married to another woman, but still give his last name to his children.

Eva Peron was a proud Latina, and her whole work ethic and cultural identity came from being a Latina, descended from Basque immigrants. She grew up in poverty and she became the First Lady of Argentina. She would insist that Argentina show it’s pride both through the story of her rise, and through the casting choices, and truthfully in this day and age, there is no reason to NOT cast this role with a Latina.

However one of the problems with EVITA – it is very rarely played by an Actress who has Latin or even Hispanic heritage, because it was initially in England played by a Elaine Page and here in the States, by Patti LuPone. That gives some Artistic Directors license, they wrongly believe, to ignore that they are telling a story from a Latin country and they should do their best to reflect that – and they just cast whoever sings loudest.

In fact, right now in Australia, directed by Hal Prince, Eva Peron is being played by Tina Arena, who is a big star in Oz who speaks and sings in several languages fluently, who identifies as Italian. Ms. Arena is a spectacular performer – in this role, she is miscast.


What was acceptable (but questionable) in the 1970’s does not improve with time. The range and scope of Actors and Actresses who identify as Latinx or Hispanic is broad – far more wide ranging than in the 1970’s and that should be reflected in the portrayals on the stage, television, and film.

With the many conversations going on in Oz about diversity and the lack of it amongst Musical Theater Performers, Mr. Prince was in a rare position to ‘show them how it is done‘, given that New York Theater community is actively courting inclusion.

(Pour one out for The Great Comet)

In truth, the last time that EVITA was done on Broadway, it was not directed by Hal Prince. The show was directed by Michael Grandage who had  Argentinian, Elena Rogers play Eva Peron- but sadly, this is not to be the case Down Under.



(TFP had no real hopes for this production, given that they cast a white man as The King in THE KING AND I because he was the real life boyfriend of the woman playing Anna Leonowens. That part, incidentally, had to be recast with an Asian American lead because the theater community there rebelled.)

She had hoped they could turn it around with EVITA, but they chose not to. As far as TFP believes that Australia has come, you know – since they pardoned a white man for murdering her Great Grandfather because they did not want a man to go to jail for killing ‘a Chinese’, is that they always have some way to showcase racism and homophobia, that just tears at her insides.

Another example of people here in the States choosing not to try for a Latina Evita is the casting of Dee Roscioli, a former Elphaba on Broadway, at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival – Ms. Roscioli is, like Ms. LuPone, of Italian heritage.


These two productions have relatively large budgets, and of course, are hiring stars that are going to bring a ‘name’ recognition to the show – but the question is – was there an attempt to find a Latina Evita in those cases? Obviously they could afford to look around and offer contracts that were attractive, so the question of looking for a Latinx actress who was a Broadway name should not have been an issue.

From emails between Project Am I Right founder, Lauren Villegas and Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, it seemed that the attempt to find a Latina performer to play Eva was not actually a concern of his. Ms. Roscioli was a ‘local’ of sorts – she went to college in the area at DeSales University, she had recently played Mrs. Lovett in a Sweeney Todd – there was no way they were not going to go with Dee Roscioli.

The AD’s responses, which TFP  has read, conclusively proves that the issue of white men being the majority of Artistic Directors around the country, has a trickle down effect of white washing roles that should go to people of color.

American Theater Magazine recently did an examination of the Artistic Director positions around the country, and it is safe to say that the overwhelming majority are Caucasian Males – some are ‘woke’, most are not. They ‘care’, they ‘program‘, but they do not take stands often.  For example, they do not seem to program for female playwrights, they do not cast “ethnic’ roles with an eye for inclusion, they seem to revel in male playwrights that are Irish and English and Male, who write roles for people that are Irish and English and Male. They give grants and commission works from other Caucasian males – the cycle is endless.

Even when they cast, say, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, say in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, they rarely wonder if they should include Jewish performers in their casts  for the same reasons they are excluding Latinx people in EVITAbecause they are in the middle of the country, because they do not have a large population to pull from of diverse actors…..


What comes of this lack of vision, this reliance on ‘that is the way it has always been done‘ is that People of Color – in this case the wide, WIDE diversity that is the Latinx and Hispanic Acting Community – in many cases, are shut out.

Unable to get appointments, even with Agent representation – most have to try and get a spot at Actors Equity Mandated calls, but honestly, because the majority of Artistic Directors are Caucasian (unless they have lived or attended college in a multi-ethnic city or suburb) they do not have a feel for what the many, MANY varieties of Latinx Actors look like.

In other words – they are not Italian or Greek.


We know that Italian Americans and Greek Americans are a proud groups – and this is not to disparage them.

Hollywood and Broadway have long worshiped the Aryan appearance, relegating those with slightly more pigment and darker hair to the ‘ethnic’ parts – that was the way showbiz was for decades. It is not anyone’s ‘fault’ – it is the way that show business functioned for years. That was the norm.

It is no longer that bubble where blondes are the heroes, brunettes are the villains and ‘the ethnics’. We cannot just leave it to various groups to portray a variety of people that range from Native Americans to Latinx to Middle Eastern to East and South Asians – it is no longer that ‘simple’ a choice to do that.

In other words, it is not the 1950’s. Or 1979.

It is 2017, almost 2018.

Actors of Color need to be included, and the boiling point is nearing for many of us.


The most recent entry in this ongoing complexity of establishment versus cultural advancement is the just announced is North Shore Musical Theater’s production of EVITA, which will be going up September 26th – October 3rd.

There are no Latinx leads in this show.

This show about Argentina.

Where is Argentina, you may ask – where, precisely?

It is in Latin America.

Let’s pull up a map – TFP loves maps.


As you can see, there is Argentina right next to Chile and Uruguay, it borders Paraguay and Bolivia.

Here is who is playing Eva Peron, Miss Briana Carlson-Goodman, who identifies as a white Jewish woman.


She is absolutely adorable, she can likely sing her face off, TFP would likely like her if TFP met her – this role is miscast.

Not because the Actress did not go in and give a great audition – she likely did, but masquerading as Latina is not, as TFP‘s old improv teacher stated often “the highest percentage choice‘.

Someone always finds out, and in this case, Ms. Carlson-Goodman told Ms. Lauren Villegas, founder of Project Am I Right? that she happens to be Jewish, but she has been told to not self identify because that would impede her ability to get roles.



That the central character of EVITA is not Latina would never be 100 per cent ok in 2017, but if she was perhaps, supported by other Latinx leads – the people playing Che or Peron or Magaldi, with a large, heavy percent of the ensemble being Latinx – perhaps they could argue that Ms. Carlson-Goodman was just ‘the best that came in’, and we would have to accept that.

Except that none of the leads happen to be Latinx.

How can you do a show about ARGENTINA and not have Latinx leads?


TFP has worked with some blockbuster talent out of the Latinx community – staggeringly gifted people, this  production of EVITA is simply extremely short sighted.

That this does not bother anyone at North Shore is an issue. What it means is that their production is not particularly thoughtful or designed to represent the show in any responsible manner, they are putting forth a caricature.

With what is going on in the country, seeing strong Latina women becomes ever more important- because our current POTUS has done his best to demonize Latinx people. He wants walls, he wants to send children home who have only ever know the United States, who work and pay taxes and build communities.

 If you do not think this constant barrage of dross towards Latinx people from the current administration is NOT part of North Shore’s ambivalence about the choices they have made- you are fooling yourself.

There is no greater source of systemic racism than the examples shown at our highest level of power right now. It is America’s shame to be represented by this administration and it’s pandering to White Supremacy. This lack of empathy, is not only displayed nonchalantly- it is encouraged- and it is what North Shore has effectively co-signed.

They cast Constantine Maroulis as Che – he happens to be…Greek American.

2014 Garden Of Dreams Foundation Talent Show

Again, if Constantine was the only non Latin lead – if effort had been made to cast the rest of the show to reflect Argentina, again, perhaps that would – while still NEVER BEING 100% OK, – it would be simply a roll your eyes moment. We would realize that the show had genuflected at the altar of ‘celebrity’, and roll with it – but again, this is not the case.

 (TFP also wants to acknowledge that Greece is a seaside nation, and as such – genetically it benefits from many invasions and wars – what that entails is a variety of DNA mixing, so it is entirely possible that even though Constantine identifies as a Greek American – there may be more ethnically going on there – generations prior – than simply Eurocentric stuff. African, Arab, Moorish, and European are all involved within that heritage. 

However if Mr. Maroulis has not ever claimed to be anything other than a modern day Greek American, he is a Greek American and his casting here is still problematic.)

Does North Shore honestly believe that PoC are going to come and see this show and say, “Well, looks like Argentina to me?”


North Shore has a problem – it’s audience is older. It is largely Caucasian. It needs to bring in a larger crowd, a younger crowd, a more diverse crowd to support it’s productions.

They could have done that, had they chosen to have more Latinx Actors and Actresses in this show, and they did not. Eventually what will happen is that they will either change and embrace inclusive casting – or they will continue to exclude PoC, while trying to perform their stories – and the theater will close.

Honestly, it is that simple.

It would be a shame – because it serves up great theater – and people appreciate it, it is a great Massachusetts business, but eventually, karma comes calling, and she is most proudly, a bitch.


It is not all bad, for those of you collapsing in a heap in the back.


There are people making an effort, and really coming through – and that is to be acknowledged as well – let’s mention some of those places, places that care. Places that you should support in person if you can – if you cannot be there – perhaps consider purchasing a ticket and donating it to a local who cannot afford to go, but who would love it?

Check it out –

At Asolo Rep in Florida, they have cast Ana Isabelle!

Nov. 13-December 30th, Floridians! Get those tickets, Snowbirds!

At the Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida they have also not only made an effort to cast someone Latina to play Eva, they are also doing half the show’s run in Spanish!

Yes, from October 25 – November 26th, performances will be in English, and then from November 30th – December 17th, they are doing Spanish performances!


Now, one must ask – why are they doing EVITA in Spanish and English? Because they are located in Miami-Dade County Florida, which has a LARGE Latinx population. They are serving their community and the arts in one fell swoop!

Also this past year – in TENNESSEE, where you would wonder if they ‘could’ get a production of EVITA going correctly – they jobbed in the talent. What is that, North Shore? Yes, they felt they did not have big enough Latinx names so they brought in Eden Espinoza to play Eva Peron at Studio Tenn.


Likewise in KANSAS CITY, they went about as far as they could go, by casting Marriand Torres in the role. That production, incidentally, is specifically cast with Latinx actors in the main roles. Beginning September 9th!


So while, yes – North Shore Musical Theater managed to both stunt cast and blow it – elsewhere, in the middle of the country and in Florida, there is hope.


Who would have thought TFP would be saying that?

North Shore Musical Theater, Aussie EVITA, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare – you get 100 whacks of the wand for pulling this crap – each.

TFP is tired.

Why does this have to be explained over and over?

Latinx actors and actresses are tired.


Why, when it is SO EASY to consider inclusive casting, do you go SO FAR OUT OF THE WAY to NOT cast with an eye towards authenticity in telling a story?

No, not every Eva needs to be Argentinian descent – but she needs to be Latinx. You have an obligation to tell the best story you can tell, and that includes being inclusive and searching out the people who can authentically tell the story.

If Lin Manuel Miranda can write and cast IN THE HEIGHTS on Broadway, and then go on to write and cast HAMILTON on Broadway, and oh yeah, redo the lyrics to WEST SIDE STORY on Broadway with Latinx and Hispanic talent – then you can find an Eva!


TFP out.