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Politics has long been derided as show business for ugly people, an assessment usually applied to the physical appearance of its participants. Common wisdom also tells us we get the leaders we deserve, and that's somehow more depressing than electing uggos. Why is it that politicians talk endlessly about better times and the good old days, but things always seem to end up in a tangle of personal scandal, graft, corruption or a piquant combination of all these elements? Are all these ugly people dying to lead us to some new golden age broken inside, or are do we voters simply force them into bad behavior by expecting too much from our leaders? Democracy and demagogues are both based on the power of the people, after all. These are the questions New Line Theatre tackles in its production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita. This is not the gauzy, soft-focus Madonna-version, but a return to the original concept album, which was more of a rock & roll approach to the rise and fall of Eva Peron's cult of personality. New Line closes its nineteenth season with performances of Evita at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (July 8 through 31) at the Washington University South Campus Theatre (6501 Clayton Road; 314-534-1111 or www.newlinetheatre.com). Tickets are $10 to $20.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: July 8. Continues through July 31, 2010

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