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/ STAFF WRITER
Evan D’Angeles wears many theatrical hats and for the production of “Songs for a New World” he not only cast the show but is directing the musical as well.
The story is near and dear to D’Angeles’ heart as he made his directorial debut and played a role in the musical 10 years ago.
The show – produced by The Barn Stage Company and presented by Temecula Presents and the Temecula Valley Symphony – runs Thursday, Jan. 12, through Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.
Written by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown, the musical features a series of songs, four actors and a five-piece band. Themes of characters facing monumental forks in the road who must make life-altering decisions are woven throughout the show.
Blending genres such as pop, gospel and jazz with a small cast creates an intimate and powerful piece.
“I love the idea of raising the stakes,” D’Angeles said in a recent interview. “And, I love high drama.”
“Since I was young, I’ve always loved good storytelling,” D’Angeles said. “Being pulled into a story moves me, and this story is brilliant and will definitely move people.”
While growing up in Long Beach, D’Angeles loved theater and ended up taking classes at Chapman University in Orange. He later found himself auditioning for entertainment legend Debbie Allen, who became a mentor, he said.
Realizing D’Angeles had talent in spades, she encouraged the young performer to audition for a national touring production of “Miss Saigon.” He did, not knowing what would become of it.
“That decision to knock on the stage door at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in 1996 with my headshot and resume changed my life,” he said, smiling.
Although he didn’t land that part he was earmarked to play a role in a Broadway production about a year later, which began his journey into larger scale theater productions in many capacities.
He said is is excited to be a part of The Barn Stage Company and showcasing high caliber talent and productions in Temecula, especially this musical.
“So many people will relate to this story because at the end of the day there is no guarantee there will be a tomorrow,” D’Angeles said. “Over the last year with the election and divide, we need to connect and unify.”