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The Seth Concert Series – Eva Noblezada | Review

Eva Noblezada was introduced to West End audiences as Cameron Mackintosh’s leading lady for his 2014 revival of Miss Saigon, which raked in over £4 million in revenue within the first 24 hours of tickets going on sale. She stayed in London, taking over the role of Éponine in Les Misérables on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2016, before going to New York to reprise the role of Kim in the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon. In 2018, she played Eurydice in the National Theatre production of Hadestown, a musical based on the Ancient Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Aside from multiple Tony Award nominations and wins, the show won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Eva Noblezada - Credit Gabriel Mokake
Eva Noblezada – Credit Gabriel Mokake

It simply wasn’t possible to avoid mentioning her Hadestown co-star, Reeve Carney, whom Noblezada is now dating. The audience wasn’t treated to a guest appearance from him but there was nonetheless a lot of ground to cover, with twelve songs and a plethora of anecdotes and recounted experiences, all in the space of 100 minutes. In 2013, she performed at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, commonly referred to as the Jimmy Awards, named for James M. Nederlander (1922-2016), the Broadway theatre owner and producer known as ‘Jimmy’ to industry colleagues, where a casting director, Tara Rubin, was impressed enough to notify Mackintosh’s team. And so it was that at the age of 17 she was cast in a West End leading role.

Except she didn’t know this until her agent met with her to go through the details of the contract being offered by Mackintosh’s theatre company, having believed she had auditioned for the cover lead rather than the principal lead. Growing up, she had supportive and encouraging parents, and didn’t want to do anything in later life other than perform. There were some interesting discussions around setting boundaries and knowing what one’s limits are. For instance, there is no point in agreeing to belting all day in rehearsals for one show and then belting each evening in a different show. There is money to be made from holding down two jobs for a while, but there is also a need to look after oneself.

Given the calibre of the rest of the Hadestown cast, she felt underqualified to be in that production at all, let alone playing the lead female character. She finds auditions invariably “horrible” because she gets very nervous, which then sometimes has a direct impact on the quality of her singing during the audition. No such problems existed in this online concert, in which every lyric was sung with such extraordinary clarity.

In line with many of the episodes in this concert series, the selection of musical numbers was broad and diverse, ranging from The Seth Concert Series favourite (or, at least, frequently sung) ‘Journey To The Past’ from Anastasia to ‘They Say It’s Wonderful’ from Annie Get Your Gun. Speaking with sometimes brutal honesty, her remarks about body positivity and the murkier sides of the entertainment industry were enlightening and emboldening.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Eva Noblezada stars in the title role for director Diane Paragas in the recently released award-winning Sony Pictures film, Yellow Rose. She was nominated for a Tony Award for starring on Broadway in Hadestown. It was her second Tony nomination in two Broadway roles, following her earlier nod in the title role in Miss Saigon in 2017. She was previously a lead in Hadestown at the National Theatre in London after starring in the West End revivals of Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. Noblezada was a high school student in Charlotte, NC, when she was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in NYC.

LISTING INFORMATION:
Mark Cortale Presents
THE SETH CONCERT SERIES / March 2021
Sunday, March 7th Live at 3PM EST and Rebroadcast at 8PM EST
EMILY SKINNER with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, March 14th Live at 3PM EST and Rebroadcast at 8PM EST
JACKIE HOFFMAN with SETH RUDETSKY
Sunday, March 21st Live at 3PM EST and Rebroadcast at 8PM EST
(Warning: Strong language may be used during the performance.)
ASHLEY SPENCER with SETH RUDETSKY & special guest KARA LINDSAY
Sunday, March 28th Live at 8PM EST *(note special times)
Monday, March 29th Rebroadcast at 3PM EST
All tickets available at thesethconcertseries.com

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