Evita Cast Bios
Michele Di Tomasso – Eva Peron
Michele is thrilled to be playing Evita, a dream of hers for many years. Her qualifications for the role include her one woman rendition of the show during numerous road trips. Having performed in numerous productions across South Western Ontario, Michele is an award winning actor, certified yoga teacher, avid traveller and a devoted Queen fan. Michele gives her love to Stephan (who has the infinite patience required to live with an actress), her daughter Akasha (who was raised on Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin’s ‘Evita’) and her beloved cousin Linda who introduced her to this iconic show many years ago.
Laura Janzen – Eva Peron
Laura is thrilled to be performing her dream role of Evita! After carefully studying each Eva on YouTube, she is ready to tackle her own version of the role. She has spent the last two years in Toronto training at Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and is a proud grad of University of Waterloo’s Arts & Business program with a major in music. She recently represented K-W Kiwanis at the Ontario Provincials, bringing home first place in Adult Advanced Musical Theatre. Laura’s favourite things include: Disney, yoga, skiing, blogging, planners, and Google Calendar. Enjoy the show!
Klint Uzuni – Che
Klint is thoroughly excited to be making his JM Drama debut, by tackling one of his most testing roles yet: the only Marxist revolutionary rock star in musical theatre. He’d like to thank his family and friends for their unconditional support, as well as the cast and crew of Evita for their professionalism and wonderful company. It is truly a pleasure. Past credits include: Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll & Hyde), Tony (West Side Story), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), and Anthony (Sweeney Todd).
Brian Otto – Juan Peron
Brian is frequently seen onstage with several theatre groups in the area, most frequently with Elmira Theatre Company and Guelph Little Theatre, and occasionally with The Community Players of New Hamburg (TCP), KW Musical Productions, and Royal City Musical Productions. This is his first production with JM Drama, and his first musical since “Ragtime” (TCP) in 2014 – and that’s too long! He lives in uptown Waterloo with his wife Alison Feuerwerker, a popular violinist and community musician, and their two rescue cats. Their daughter Marley is the front person for up-and-coming Los Angeles area band The Colour Coast.
David Cho – Agustín Magaldi
David is delighted to be on stage for his third production with JM Drama (Magenta – The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Lamar – Godspell). He is a math graduate from the University of Waterloo and works in business analytics to pay his bills though he believes his true calling is to be the next Beyoncé. On an average day, you can find David playing the piano or cello, but you might even catch him climbing a rock wall or at the farmers market. @davidthebestcho
Chritina Rorai-Mcneil – The Mistress
Christina is thrilled to be a part of JM drama’s cast of Evita as the Mistress. Christina has always taken a great interest in voice and aspires to be a versatile singer and musician, performing many styles such as: classical, musical theatre, rock, etc. Evita is such a challenging show to learn and she was excited to take on the challenge with her cast members and to be a part of an ensemble again. After a year of working, she will be continuing her education, attending Laurier in the fall for a Bachelor of Music in voice.
Emily Bello-Charry – Youth Ensemble
Emily Bello-Charry was born in Kitchener, Ontario, on September 27, 2012. She has being
singing and acting with “Voces del Sur” Children’s Choir since she was three years old. Emily’s debut on a big stage was playing on “Annie”, Spanish version, on April 16, 2016 in the Theatre of Arts, University of Waterloo. The same year around Christmas, she did participate with “Voces del Sur” on the morning show with Craig Norris at CBC Kitchener (at TheMuseum), and the following year (2017) at Kultrún Festival in Victoria Park, Kitchener. This current year she participated on Mary Poppins at her
school. Emily gets people attention due her cute and sweet personality!
Vanessa DeFreitas – Ensemble
Vanessa is excited to be in Evita, and in her first Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Vanessa grew up listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, which influenced her desire to pursue a career in music. She has been teaching voice and piano for over 16 years, and is the lessons manager at Sherwood in Kitchener.
Doris Hammond – Ensemble
Doris Hammond, Aristocrat ensemble, is thrilled to be making her debut with JM Drama in this year’s production of Evita. After having taken a bit of a break from the stage, she is excited to be back. Thank You to the talented cast and crew for making this an amazing experience! Other interests are poetry writing, photography, our dog Shelby and yoga. Many thanks to friends and family “Enjoy the show”. Forever Love to Mike and Dan!!!
Michael Hitchens – Ensemble
After an extended hiatus, Michael Hitchens is thrilled to be back on the stage! As a graduate from the University of Waterloo’s Computer Science program, he is a Software Developer at North by trade. However, Michael is a classically trained musician and his passion lies in the performing arts. Evita has given Michael the opportunity brush off his acting chops, as well as sing and dance the nights away with other talented and passionate performers. He wants to thank his family and friends for their support.
Jasmeet Kaur – Ensemble
Jasmeet is pursuing training in the Arts as a Vocal and Productions Technology major at Eastwood Collegiate Institute as a member of the Integrated Arts Program and is currently
studying voice and piano privately with Robin Warwick. She has also been trained in Indian Semi Classical Music in India from Mr. B.K Nagpal, who helped her explore her talent as a child. Jasmeet is super excited to be a part of the production of Evita with JM Drama. She had a lot of fun being a cast member of this production and would like to thank Mr. Mark Panchaud for giving her this awesome opportunity.
Grace McGinnis – Youth Ensemble
Grace has been performing for friends and family since she was born. For the past 3 years
Grace has been dancing competitively with Stage Presence School of Dance, specializing in
Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. This is Grace’s first theatrical production, but it most certainly will not be her last. Grace would like to become a professional dancer and/or dance teacher. Grace would like to give a big thank you to the Evita crew for this amazing opportunity, and for allowing her to have a scene without her sister! Thank you also to family and friends for your love and support, and for coming to see the show!
Molly McGinnis – Youth Ensemble
Molly would like to clarify that she is NOT following in her sister’s footsteps – she is blazing her own path that just happens to be parallel to Grace’s. Molly has been dancing competitively with Stage Presence School of Dance for the past 2 years, specializing in Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. Molly would like to pursue a career of professional dancing and acting. Molly would like to thank the Evita team for allowing her the opportunity to do what she loves most – performing on a stage! Also, thank YOU for coming to see Molly’s theatrical debut!
Cody Miller – Ensemble, Dancer
Cody has been doing theatre for 12 years and dancing for 21 This is Cody’s 7th show with
JM Drama and excited to be the “enthusiastic officer” in Evita. When Cody isn’t on stage he wishes he was but practices his acting skills in Customer Service. Lots of love to John,
Gus and Tippy for their continued support.
Gabe Namtu – Ensemble
Gabe is Thrilled to make his debut with JM Drama. Gabe has performed with TCP KW Glee and numerous show with KW Musical Productions. This is also Gabe’s first summer Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber Show. Special Thanks to Family and Friends for their endless support. Enjoy him as well as the show!
Bilal Raza – Ensemble
I’ve done a number of musicals before, but never something as challenging as Evita (this is my first Andrew Lloyd Webber show actually!). This is one of those shows where you really cannot afford to slack off, because even as an ensemble character there’s so much you’re doing that you barely get a break. Furthermore, the musical is pretty much sung-through, so that adds to the challenge. Still, the music is absolutely phenomenal and always ends up leaves something stuck in my head. There’s a reason why it’s considered one of Lloyd Webber’s best shows. I hope people enjoy this production of Evita, because people like me have been working really hard to show you how great it can be!
Samuel Reeves – Ensemble
It has been an immense pleasure working on Evita with this cast! The first musical I ever did was an Andrew Lloyd Weber show, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of this show. I want to thank the cast and crew for an amazing experience. I love acting and hope to continue to pursue it.
Fran Rotondo – Ensemble
Fran is thrilled to be in JM Drama’s production of “Evita”, one of her favorite musicals. It has been such a fun summer working with such an amazingly talented group of people. Thank you for supporting community theatre; we hope you enjoy the show!
Lily Schumacher – Ensemble
After a major surgery in the fall, what better way to teach my kids resilience and to help heal my mind, body and soul than to throw myself into a musical with them! “ Lily has always remained close to the Performing Arts, seeing it as a medium for social change. Since her return to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2015, she keeps busy homeschooling her 3 children, performing with JM Drama, Guelph Little Theatre and Green Light Arts, sitting on the JM Drama Board and committing time to the Healing Arts.
Marley Schumacher – Youth Ensemble
Marley recently graduated grade 8 and this is her sophomore debut on The Registry Stage and her first show with JM Drama. She’s a competitive dancer, loves track & field, reading, writing and riding horses. Like the reggae icon, she personifies “One Love” through her belief in equality.
Maxton Schumacher – Youth Ensemble
This is Maxton’s sophomore theatrical show and he is going into grade 1. A natural performer and a competitor in dance and acro, he has a passion for musical expression and worship. Max is a details guy, enjoys math, sports and is often engaged in laughter! This is his first show with JM Drama.
Raina Schumacher – Youth Ensemble
At age 7, Raina is a great problem solver and logical fixer. She is often found lost in a book,
singing, drawing or snacking! Raina loves science baking and competing in dance. This is her second theatrical performance and a first with JM Drama.
Kim Shea – Ensemble, Dancer
Kim is thrilled to be making her JM Drama debut in Evita. As a fan of the music for years, she is very excited to have the chance to sing and dance to one of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest scores. In the last few years, Kim has also performed in musicals and plays with KWLT, CCP and MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players. She is currently working on her Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Enjoy the show!
Michael Smyth – Ensemble
My first community theatre production was in 2000 and when I retired from Renison University College at the University of Waterloo in 2009 I had the opportunity to become much more involved in performing. In total, I have been in 46 productions, including 24 musicals, and always think the present one is the very best ever. Community theatre is such a great deal. For about a $30 participation fee I get to hang out with wonderfully talented people for three months and then watch them perform at least six times from the best seat in the house. And I get to experience the thrill of being on stage. An introverted extrovert’s heaven.
Randolph Streich – Ensemble
Randolph Streich is happy to be performing in Evita. When he auditioned for this show he distinctly remembers marking a “No” beside the question “Do you have dance experience?”. Apparently, “No” means salsa or tango in the special language of auditions…little did he know! This year marks Randolph’s 22nd year of performing in Musical theatre. Many songs, many words and many dances have happened through those years. The love has not faded, it has only gotten stronger. Love to you my baby-bear.
Kalene Ticknor-Malton – Ensemble, Dancer
Kalene is a dancer, choreographer, actor, and singer from KW. Community theatre is a passion for Kalene, and she is thankful that there are many opportunities to participate throughout the Region. Her formal training includes not only dance, but acting, voice and stage production. Currently, Kalene teaches at a local dance studio, and has a full time job as a Registered Early Childhood Educator at a local Nursery School, on top of being a wife, and mother to her 1 year old son. Kalene’s favourite past credits include: Woof in Hair (KWLT), Susan in Shaking the Dew from the Lilies (Flush Inc), and Dance Capitan in Mary Poppins (TCP). Enjoy Evita!
Fanny Villarte-Croce – Ensemble
Fanny Villarte-Croce, originally from Venezuela, moved to Canada in 1996. In 1999 she joined the Grand Philharmonic Choir where she has being singing every season since then. The same year she funded the Adult Choir “Ecos del Sur” and the Children’s Choir “Voces del Sur”, which she is still conducting. In 2009 Fanny was the recipient of the Volunteer Impact Awards. Fanny joined the Grand Philharmonic Choir also in 1999 where she has being singing every season. She is very committed to the Arts Community. MT Space is one of her biggest passions, where she has being involved since its very beginning serving on the Board in every capacity.
Ella Way – Youth Ensemble
Ella is thrilled to be in the children’s chorus of Evita. Ella loves
art in all of its forms and is excited to join the cast to perform such
a meaningful piece. Ella hopes to one day have a career in
performance while maintaining her interests in photography,
language, animals and saving the environment.