September 2016

by Jim Reyland

Photography by Anthony Matula

Jim Reyland’s new book, Handmade – Friendships Famous, Infamous, Real and Imagined is available at in paperback and on Kindle. Jim’s new Christmas music comedy, MOTEL NOEL, starring Barry Scott and Jamey Green, opens December 1 at the 4th Story Theatre.


A Historic Collaboration, Andrew Jackson Hall, September 9–18

“ Studio Tenn has long dreamed of doing EVITA, and we are beyond thrilled to have recruited the incredibly talented Eden Espinosa as our leading lady.”


“We are so honored and proud to be the first local company ever to design, build, and co-produce a show for TPAC’s prestigious Broadway series,” says Jake Speck, Studio Tenn’s managing director. “This historic collaboration will showcase the incredible creative capacities of both Nashville and New York in a way that’s never been done before.”

Broadway powerhouse Eden Espinosa as Eva Per¢n in the Studio Tenn of EVITA. Photo by Anthony Matula of MA2LA
This month it’s going to be a bonafide big deal when the Tennessee Performing Arts Center launches its 2016–17 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway season with a stunning new production of EVITA starring Broadway powerhouse Eden Espinosa (Wicked, Brooklyn the Musical, RENT) as Eva Perón. This exciting new collaboration combines the brightest talents of New York and Nashville and marks Studio Tenn’s first inclusion as part of TPAC’s annual Broadway series. And it’s the first time TPAC has welcomed a local Nashville theatre company into its Broadway spotlight. The production, including sets and costumes, is being built and cultivated from Nashville’s local creative community, with Perón’s life story as inspiration.

Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC president and chief executive officer, made it happen. “EVITA is a popular, often-requested title for our Broadway series, and this particular production is a true artistic celebration for the city of Nashville.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning score creates a powerful foundation for the life story of Eva Perón: activist, suffragist, and venerated celebrity. Perón captivated a nation as Argentina’s First Lady and inspired others with her dedication to helping the poor. EVITA chronicles her life and work, from her humble beginnings in the rural lowlands of South America through her ascent to fame, fortune, and an untimely death.

“Studio Tenn has long dreamed of doing EVITA, and we are beyond thrilled to have recruited the incredibly talented Eden Espinosa as our leading lady—a role she was born to play,” said Matt Logan, Studio Tenn’s artistic director.”


We couldn’t have better storytellers. For seven seasons and counting, Studio Tenn, a nonprofit professional theatre company based in Franklin, has led the Nashville theatre explosion with out-of-the-box productions in out-of-the-way places. From the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to the Ryman Auditorium, from the Factory to the Courthouse in Franklin for a groundbreaking production of Twelve Angry Men, Studio Tenn goes where the art form takes them. The company was founded and is led by critically acclaimed Broadway professionals Matt Logan and Jake Speck, whose vision for programming centers on innovative, custom-designed presentations of classic plays and musicals as well as an original “Legacy” series of theatrical concerts celebrating the work of time-honored musicians.

It promises to be an unforgettable theatrical experience, and if we’re lucky, a taste of many more collaborations to come. This possibility makes it even more important to support TPAC and Studio Tenn as they take the Broadway stage together for this historical production of EVITA at Jackson Hall.

Kathleen O’Brien: “As our creative community grows, we are seeing the exceptional quality of art and music created right here in Nashville and in Middle Tennessee. Studio Tenn’s vision and creative choices are stunning, and audiences will enjoy both the production value and the story of Eva Perón told from a new perspective. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to create a new dialogue about how to produce world-class Broadway theatre here at home for our audiences.”

EVITA will run September 9–18, 2016, in TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall. For tickets, go to or phone 615-782-4040. For group tickets, call 615-782-4060.

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