Evita and More Strong Women

Caroline Bowman and Josh Young in “Evita.”

Caroline Bowman and Josh Young in “Evita.”

When a woman is strong and powerful some may call her a witch or something worse. But the take-charge quality is something to be respected says Caroline Bowman, who embodies the powerful persona of Eva Perón, starring in the latest production of Evita. Direct from Broadway to Hollywood, the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical is playing at the Pantages Theatre from Oct. 23 to Nov. 10.

The Tony-winning show features soul-stirring music and the song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” and Bowman insists no one should cry for Eva “because she lived life on her terms. I admire her. She was part of the changes and struggles in her country, and history shows that the men did not like her because they could not accept a woman having that much power.”

After taking on the role, Bowman did research and discovered that Eva Perón was adored by her people as a champion of the poor, yet greed, ambition, and fragile health made her a tragic figure in history. “She started with nothing and took charge of her life, going to Buenos Aires at age 15. She sought a career as an actress, and later took charge of the country. That’s inspiring.”

Seeing Eva in a different light is the character of Che, played by Josh Young. Che is the observer who sees Evita cast her spell over Argentina. “She certainly bewitched an entire country. I think audiences will fall under her spell too,” Young predicts. So maybe being called a witch is a compliment?

“Les Girls 13” Cabaret

Speaking of music and strong women — that’s what the 13th annual cabaret benefit “Les Girls” was all about. The hottest stars gathered for a night of sexy cabaret putting on a show to benefit the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, which is striving to end the disease with its Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 initiative. The strong woman behind the goal is NBCC president Fran Visco who says “we have a deadline to motivate innovative research, set priorities, and build support to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020.” Another strong lady, Universal Partnerships and Licensing President Stephanie Sperber is a cancer survivor and agrees “a deadline changes everything.”

The “Les Girls 13” event had celebrities gathering at Avalon Hollywood. It was a wickedly funny evening of entertainment featuring Sharon Lawrence, Jean Smart, Deborah May, Ana Ortiz, Judy Reyes, Chris Mann, Brandon Barash, Sam Harris, Peter Porte, Adam Busch, Melissa Peterman, Kirsten Storms, Eric Kufs, and stripper Miss Dakota, among the many talented performers doing song parodies to familiar tunes. Bruce Vilanch was hysterical with “Get Me to the Church on Time,” as was Steven Weber with “Blow Me a Kiss.” Another highlight was Peter Gallagher’s “Anything Goes,” and it did!

Always a favorite is NCIS:LA’s Barrett Foa, the mega-talented fellow who did two show-stopping numbers, dancing with chorus gals and singing “Just Think About Girls.” That’s what the show was all about, ending breast cancer and saving “the girls.”

Angel Award for Strong Women

At the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary holiday luncheon, it was appropriate that Patricia Elton, a breast cancer survivor and benefactor, received the Angel Award from the Duke’s son Patrick Wayne. Another strong woman honored for public service was Dr. Susan Love, who said, “I’m back after treatment for Leukemia last year. I went from doctor to patient, now I’m dedicated more than ever to the cause. I believe we can be the generation that ends this disease once and for all.”

Auxiliary president Anita Swift said, “Each of our honorees has been significantly affected by cancer and dedicated to furthering research. The impact of their contributions is immeasurable. My grandfather would be proud.” Swift is John Wayne’s granddaughter, devoted to the work being done at JWCI. Gerard DiNome was a great emcee. He played Superboy in the 1989 TV series and said he was humbled to be part of the event. “I only played a superhero, but these ladies are real superheroes who have saved countless of lives through their efforts.”

If you didn’t know by now, October is national breast cancer month to raise awareness and support survivors. Bless them.

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