Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The storey follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.
The musical began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976. Its success led to productions in London's West End in 1978, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical, and on Broadway a year later, where it was the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical.
This has been followed by a string of professional tours and worldwide productions and numerous cast albums, as well as a major 1996 film of the musical starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. The musical was revived in London in 2006, and on Broadway in 2012, and toured the UK again in 2013-14 before running for 55 West End performances at the Dominion Theatre in September–October 2014.
Travelling late to a meal one night in 1973, though, Rice heard the end of a radio show about Eva Perón which intrigued him. As a child stamp collector, he had been fascinated by her image on the Argentine stamps, but was unaware of her significance in Argentina's history. He began research and was introduced by a Cinema International Corporation executive to the Argentine film director Carlos Pasini Hansen who had produced the TV film Queen of Hearts, which had aired in the UK on 24 October 1972. The executive additionally arranged for Rice to see the film at Thames Television which he did "at least twenty times" saying additionally that "by that time I had seen Pasini's superbly researched film, I was hooked." The more Rice investigated Eva Perón, going so far as to travel to Buenos Aires to research her life with a large number of documents and contacts that Pasini had supplied, the more fascinated he became by the woman; he even named his first daughter after her.
Rice suggested the idea of a musical based on the subject to Lloyd Webber, but although the idea of writing a score including tangos, pasos dobles, and similar Latin flavours intrigued him, Lloyd Webber ultimately rejected the idea. He decided instead to collaborate with Alan Ayckbourn on Jeeves, a traditional Rodgers and Hart-style musical based on the P. G. Wodehouse character, which proved to be a critical and commercial failure. After Jeeves, Lloyd Webber returned to Rice, and they began developing Rice's proposed musical.
The authors of the 1996 book Evita: The Real Life of Eva Perón claim the musical was based on Mary Main's biography The Woman with the Whip, which was extremely critical of Eva Perón. Though Rice praised the Main biography, it was never officially credited as source material. Rice created a character, Che, to serve as a narrator and Greek chorus. Although he had recently discovered Che Guevara was Argentine, he didn't necessarily intend that the character be based upon him, notwithstanding inserting specific biographical details into the lyrics that clearly apply to Guevara. When Harold Prince later became involved with the project, he insisted that the actors portraying Che should use Guevara as a role model. In the 1996 film adaptation, the character returned to his more anonymous roots. This was additionally the case for the 2006 London revival.
As they had previously done with Jesus Christ Superstar, the songwriting team decided to record Evita as an album musical and selected actress and singer Julie Covington to sing the title role, after having caught an episode of Rock Follies and remembered her from the original London production of Godspell. The recording, which was released by MCA Records who had previously marketed Jesus Christ Superstar, commenced in April 1976 and was produced by Lloyd Webber and Rice. The recording was engineered by David Hamilton Smith, whose work Rice later acknowledged was effectively that of a third producer. He additionally delivered the line, "Statesmanship is more than entertaining peasants," a rebuttal to Eva's balcony speech on the album.
Released in 1976, the two-disc set included Paul Jones as Juan Perón, Colm Wilkinson as Che, Barbara Dickson as Perón's mistress, and Tony Christie as Agustín Magaldi. The writers had originally considered Steve Marriott and John Fogerty but neither were interested. Murray Head, who had enormous success with the Superstar album recorded a few demos but Rice later admitted it, "Didn't really reproduce the magic that his portrayal of Judas had." Colm Wilkinson had recently played Judas in the London production of Superstar and agreed to audition: "It only took a couple of verses to know he was our man."
Mike d'Abo, who had succeeded Paul Jones as lead singer of Manfred Mann, had a minor role on the album which was notable as the first one which both had appeared. Mike Smith, former lead vocalist with the Dave Clark Five and d'Abo's then working partner, additionally appeared.
Pasini wrote the dialogue in Spanish of the first scene, "A Cinema in Buenos Aires, 26 July 1952". On this recording, he played the part of the actor in the soundtrack of a movie that grinds to a halt and additionally read the official communique of Eva's death. When the album was presented to the press at Lloyd Webber's country home Sydmonton, Pasini organised a photographic presentation with his colleague Anton Furst to accompany it. His contribution to the development of the project was recognised as Rice and Lloyd Webber acknowledged him first in a thank you speech afterwards.
In Britain, Australia, South Africa, South America, and various parts of Europe, sales of the concept album exceeded those of Jesus Christ Superstar; in the United States, however, it never achieved the same level of success. Covington's recording of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (originally titled "It's Only Your Lover Returning") was released in October 1976. It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart and enjoyed similar success internationally. Dickson's "Another Suitcase in An Additional Hall" additionally became a hit. In the US and UK, respectively, Karen Carpenter, Olivia Newton-John, and Petula Clark released cover versions of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina".
- Eva Perón (mezzo): Lead Playing age 15-33
- Che (tenor): Lead. Playing age 21-35
- Juan Perón (baritone): Lead. Playing age 32-55
- Agustin Magaldi (tenor): Supporting. Playing age 23-35
- Perón's Mistress (mezzo): Supporting. Playing age 14-18
- Chorus (men, women and children of Argentina)
|Role||Original Album (1976)||Original West End Cast (1978)||Original Broadway Cast (1979)||Film Cast (1996)||First West End Revival Cast (2006)||Broadway Revival Cast (2012)||National Tour Cast (2013)||Second West End Revival Cast (2014)|
|Eva Perón||Julie Covington||Elaine Paige||Patti LuPone||Madonna||Elena Roger||Caroline Bowman||Madalena Alberto|
|Che||Colm Wilkinson||David Essex||Mandy Patinkin||Antonio Banderas||Matt Rawle||Ricky Martin||Josh Young||Marti Pellow|
|Juan Perón||Paul Jones||Joss Ackland||Bob Gunton||Jonathan Pryce||Philip Quast||Michael Cerveris||Sean McLaughlin||Matthew Cammelle|
|Augustin Magaldi||Tony Christie||Mark Ryan||Mark Syers||Jimmy Nail||Gary Milner||Max von Essen||Christopher Johnstone||Ben Forster|
|Perón's Mistress||Barbara Dickson||Siobhán McCarthy||Jane Ohringer||Andrea Corr||Lorna Want||Rachel Potter||Krystina Alabado||Sarah McNicholas|
The opening reveals a cinema in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26 July 1952, where an audience is watching a film ("A Cinema in Buenos Aires, 26 July 1952"). The Spanish dialogue is heard throughout the film, an announcer interrupts with the message (begun in Spanish, but fading into English) that "Eva Perón entered immortality at 20:25 hours this evening...." The audience is heartbroken, and they sing "Requiem for Evita" (in Latin, which is modelled on a Catholic requiem). Ché, the narrator, cynically assesses the hysterical grief that gripped Argentina when Evita passed away ("Oh What a Circus").
Che introduces the audience to 15-year-old Eva, in 1934. She has her first love affair with tango singer Agustín Magaldi after she meets him at one of his shows ("On This Night of a Thousand Stars"). Eva blackmails Magaldi into taking her with him to Buenos Aires and though he's initially resistant, he eventually surrenders ("Eva, Beware of the City"). Upon her arrival at the city, Eva sings about her hopes and ambitions of glory as an actress ("Buenos Aires"). After her arrival, Eva is quick to leave Magaldi and Che relates the storey of how Eva sleeps her way up the social ladder, fitting a model, radio star, and actress ("Goodnight and Thank You"). He then tells of both a right-wing coup in 1943 and Eva's success, implying that Argentine politics and Eva's career might soon coincide. Che additionally makes a point to introduce the figure of Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, an ambitious military colonel who was making his way up the Argentine political ladder. ("The Lady's Got Potential"). In a game of musical chairs that represents the rise of political figures, Perón and additional military figures compete for power and exhibit their political strategy ("The Art of the Possible").
After a devastating earthquake hits the town of San Juan, Perón organises a charity concert at Luna Park to provide aid to the victims. Eva attends and briefly reunites with Agustín Magaldi, who coldly shuns her for her past actions. Perón addresses the crowd with words of encouragement and leaps off the stage, meeting Eva as soon as he exits ("Charity Concert"). Eva and Perón share a secret rendezvous following the charity concert, where Eva hints that she could help Perón rise to power ("I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You"). Eva dismisses Perón's Mistress (the character is known only by that title), who ponders the rejection ("Another Suitcase in An Additional Hall").
After moving in with Perón, Eva is introduced to high society, but she's met with disdain from the upper classes and the Argentine Army ("Perón's Latest Flame"). In 1946, Perón launches his presidential bid after being promoted to general in the army, and while in bed with Eva, he discusses his chances of winning the election. Eva reassures him and soon they organise rallies where the people show their support and hope for a better future, while on the sidelines Perón and his allies plot to dispose of anyone who stands in their way ("A New Argentina").
Perón is elected president in a sweeping victory in 1946. He stands "On The Balcony of the Casa Rosada" addressing his descamisados (shirtless ones). Eva speaks from the balcony of the Presidential Palace to her adoring supporters, where she reveals that notwithstanding her initial goal of achieving fame and glory, she has found her true calling to be the people of her country ("Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"). Che analyses the price of fame as Eva dances at the Inaugural Ball with Perón, now the president-elect ("High Flying, Adored").
Eva insists on a glamorous image to impress the people of Argentina and promote Perónism. She prepares to tour in Europe as she's dressed for success by her fashion consultants ("Rainbow High"). Her famous 1946 tour meets with mixed results ("Rainbow Tour"); Spaniards adore her, but the Italians liken her husband to Benito Mussolini. France is unimpressed, and the English snub her by inviting her to a country estate, rather than Buckingham Palace. Eva affirms her disdain for the upper class, while Che asks her to start helping those in need as she promised ("The Actress Hasn't Learned the Lines (You'd Like to Hear)"). Eva begins the Eva Perón Foundation to direct her charity work. Che describes Eva's controversial charitable work, and possible money laundering ("And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)").
Eva appears at a church to take the sacrament in front of her adoring supporters ("Santa Evita"), but goes into a trancelike state, beginning to hallucinate. In her vision she and Che heatedly debate her actions; Che accuses Eva of using the Argentine people for her own ends, while Eva cynically replies that there's no glory in trying to solve the world's problems from the sidelines ("A Waltz for Eva and Che"). At the end of the argument, Eva finally admits to herself and Che that she's dying and can't go on for much longer. Afterwards, Eva finally understands that Perón loves her for herself, not just for what she can do for him and his career ("You Must Love Me").
Perón's generals finally get sick of Eva's meddling and demand that Perón force her to leave politics. Notwithstanding Perón objects and claims that if it wasn't for her, they would never have achieved as much as they have ("She Is a Diamond"). But he additionally concedes she won't be able to keep working for long as she'll soon succumb to her cancer. Even so, Eva is determined to run for vice-president, and Perón fears that the military will stage a coup if she runs and that Eva's health is too delicate for any stressful work, but Eva insists she can continue, notwithstanding her failing health ("Dice Are Rolling/Eva's Sonnet").
Realizing she's close to death, Eva renounces her pursuit of the vice presidency and swears her eternal love to the people of Argentina ("Eva's Final Broadcast"). Eva's achievements flash before her eyes before she dies ("Montage"), and she asks for forgiveness, contemplating her choice of fame instead of long life ("Lament"). Eva dies, and embalmers preserve her body forever. Che notes that a monument was set to be built for Evita but "only the pedestal was completed, when Evita's body disappeared for 17 years...."
- *This song is most of the time cut from most of the productions and replaced with "The Art of the Possible," but a modified version has appeared in a number of stagings.
- **These two songs are most often credited as just "She is a Diamond".
- ***Length and selection of melodies varies from production to production.
- °Replaced by "Junin, 26 July 1952" for the Japanese productions, London and Broadway revivals.
- "You Must Love Me", written for the 1996 film, was added to the 2006 London production and several additional post-film productions; its placement varies from right after "Waltz for Eva and Che" to right before "Eva's Final Broadcast."
- See Evita for the song list from the 1976 concept album.
The musical employs an eclectic range of styles. Classical music in Evita includes the opening choral piece ("Requiem for Evita") and a choral interlude in "Oh What a Circus", as well as instrumental passages throughout the musical like the orchestral version of the "Lament" and the introduction to "Don't Cry for Me Argentina". Rhythmic Latinate styles are heard in pieces like "Buenos Aires", "And the Money Kept Rolling in (And Out)" and "On This Night of a Thousand Stars", while ballads include "High Flying, Adored" and "Another Suitcase in An Additional Hall". Rock music includes "Oh What a Circus", "Perón's Latest Flame", and a song cut from the original production called "The Lady's Got Potential". The song was reinstated for the 1996 film with revised lyrics by Rice, and has additionally been used in Japanese, Czech, and Danish stage productions to expand on Argentine history for audiences less familiar with the subject.
Historical accuracy of the story
Tomas Eloy Martinez mentioned:
Che as well as Evita symbolise certain naïve, but effective, beliefs: the hope for a better world; a life sacrificed on the altar of the disinherited, the humiliated, the poor of the earth. They are myths which somehow reproduce the image of Christ.
The lyrics and storyline of the musical are based on Mary Main's biography, Evita: The Woman with the Whip, which drew heavily upon the accounts of anti-Perónist Argentines. Shortly after the musical appeared, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro published a more neutral account of Eva Perón's life, titled Evita: The Real Lives of Eva Perón, in which they claim that a large number of of Main's assertions (which had influenced Rice's lyrics) were false, like the suggestion that Eva had first gone to Buenos Aires as the mistress of a married musician, Agustín Magaldi. Instead, they wrote, Eva's mother Doña Juana had taken her there when she aspired to become a radio actress. Some critics additionally suggested that Rice's lyrics disparaged Evita's achievements unnecessarily, particularly her charity work. According to Navarro and Fraser, "it [Evita] was based for the most part on the earliest and seamiest versions of Evita's life, something happened to the tale in its retelling and the Evita who emerged each evening, dressed first as a teenager, then a hooker, and finally, in tulle and silver foil, as First Lady, was far from being unsympathetic."
Following the success of the film version of Evita, in 1996, an Argentinean film biography of Perón was released, titled Eva Perón: The True Story, asserting that it corrected distortions in the Lloyd Webber account.
Original West End production
When the recording was released, Lloyd Webber had sent a copy to the renowned American director Harold Prince and invited him to become involved with the eventual staging. Prince agreed, commenting, "Any opera that begins with a funeral can't be all bad", but he advised them that he couldn't take on any new commitments for the next two years. In the meantime, Lloyd Webber and Rice reworked several elements of the show. Some songs were dropped and a few shortened, while others were introduced and a few lyrics rewritten. Prince eventually confirmed that he would be ready to start rehearsals in early 1978. When he began working on the project in May, he suggested few changes, additional than for deleting Che's rock number "The Lady's Got Potential". Prince requested a song he could stage to chart Perón's rise to power, and Rice and Lloyd Webber responded with the musical chairs number "The Art of the Possible", throughout which military officers are eliminated until only Perón remains.
Evita opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on 21 June 1978 and closed on 18 February 1986, after 3,176 performances. Elaine Paige played Eva with David Essex as Che and Joss Ackland as Perón. Paige was selected from amongst a large number of hopefuls, after Julie Covington declined the role. Diana Terry played the mistress. The production was directed by Harold Prince, choreographed by Larry Fuller, and produced by Robert Stigwood. Paige was succeeded by Marti Webb, Stephanie Lawrence, Siobhán McCarthy (who had played The Mistress when the show opened), Jacquey Chappell and ultimately, Kathryn Evans with Maria Morgan.
Webb originally played the role throughout Paige's holiday and was persuaded by Prince to remain in the cast as an alternate for two shows each week to aid the transition when she took over the role. This set the precedent until the show closed, with Lawrence fitting Webb's alternate. Michele Breeze, Paige's original understudy never inherited the role in London but later created it for the original New Zealand production. Susannah Fellows additionally understudied Eva.
Gary Bond replaced David Essex as Che, then Mark Ryan, who had first starred as Magaldi, later assumed the role, followed by Martin Smith and Jimmy Kean. Ackland's replacements included John Turner, Oz Clark and Daniel Benzali.
In his review in The Sunday Times, Derek Jewell called the show "quite marvelous" and described Lloyd Webber's "ambitious" score "an unparallelled fusion of twentieth century musical experience" and Rice's lyrics as "trenchant" and "witty". Bernard Levin of The Times disliked it, however, calling it as an "odious artefact ... that calls itself an opera ... merely because the clichés between the songs are sung rather than spoken" and "one of the most disagreeable evenings I have ever spent in my life".
This production won The Society of West End Theatre (S.W.E.T) award as Musical of the Year, and Elaine Paige won the award for Performance of the Year in a Musical. Harold Prince (Director of the Year) and David Essex (Performance of the Year in a Musical) received S.W.E.T. nominations.
Timothy O'Brien and Tazeena Firth collaborated on the design of the show. The set was minimal, with a scaffolded balcony running along the back and sides of the stage and images projected onto a screen above. Madame Tussauds produced a wax figurine of Eva, based on Elaine Paige, for the coffin throughout the funeral scene at the beginning of the show. Inspired by the murals of Diego Rivera, Prince suggested the proscenium be flanked by artwork depicting the struggles of the Argentine peasants. He jettisoned the original monochromatic costumes designed for the refrain members and dancers; instead, he had them go to charity and secondhand clothing shops to purchase costumes. The now iconic balcony scene featured Eva in a broad, white dress based on one actually owned by Eva Perón addressing a crowd from the rear balcony of the stage.
The Evita: Original London Cast Recording was recorded in 1978 and released by MCA Records.
The original London production transferred to the Opera House in Manchester for an extended run following its closure at the Prince Edward Theatre. Kathryn Evans and Jimmy Kean played Eva and Che with Ria Jones and John Barr being their alternates.
Original Broadway production
After debuting at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, the Broadway production opened at the Broadway Theatre on 25 September 1979 and closed on 26 June 1983, after 1,567 performances and 17 previews. Patti LuPone starred as Eva, with Mandy Patinkin as Che, Bob Gunton as Perón, Mark Syers as Magaldi, and Jane Ohringer as Perón's mistress. Harold Prince directed with choreography by Larry Fuller. During the run, six actresses alternated playing the title role, in addition to LuPone: Terri Klausner, Nancy Opel, Pamela Blake (matinees), Derin Altay, Loni Ackerman and Florence Lacey (evenings). Patinkin was replaced by (Tony Award Winner) Anthony Crivello. New York Times critic Frank Rich stated: "Loni Ackerman, the current Eva Peron, has no discernible Latin blood, but she sings the role better than any of the American Evitas, as well as acting and dancing it with nonstop energy. Anthony Crivello, a performer new to me, is easily the best Che I've seen in New York or London: not only does he have a supple voice, but he additionally moves with such grace that he lightens the heavy, moralising tone his character must bear. He's so effective, in fact, that he almost convinces you that there's a sound reason for Che Guevara to be dragged into the Peron saga." Tom Carter understudied Patinkin and performed as Che.
LuPone has stated about her time in Evita:" 'Evita' was the worst experience of my life,' she said. 'I was screaming my way through a part that could only have been written by a man who hates women. And I had no support from the producers, who wanted a star performance onstage but treated me as an unknown backstage. It was like Beirut, and I fought like a banshee.'"
Elaine Paige was originally told she would re-create her role in the Broadway production, however, the Actors' Equity Association refused permission for a non-American. Prince attempted to persuade the organisation for a second time when LuPone was suffering vocal problems before the production reached New York. Lupone stated in her memoir that this was nothing more than a rumour started by Prince himself to build publicity. She however had her own doubts about that being true.
Original Madrid production
The musical's Spanish-language version premiered at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid on 23 December 1980, directed by Jaime Azpilicueta and with Paloma San Basilio as Eva, Patxi Andión as Che, Julio Catania as Perón, Tony Landa as Magaldi and Montserrat Vega as Perón's mistress. Notwithstanding the first ever Spanish language version was the one premiered in Mexico in the mid 1980 with Rocío Banquells as Eva and Jaime Garza as Che. A double vinyl album with the original soundtrack was released in 1981. The song "No llores por mí, Argentina" became a hit single and was interpreted by singers like Nacha Guevara. The Spanish-language production later played in Barcelona and additional cities, as well as in Latin American tours.
1983 Brazilian production
Directed by Maurício Shermann and starring Cláudia as Evita, Mauro Mendonça as Péron, Carlos Augusto Strazzer as Che, Sílvia Massari as Perón's mistress, and Hildon Prado as Magaldi (the man considered by history as Evita's lover), it premiered at Teatro João Caetano in Rio de Janeiro on 12 January 1983. It later moved to Teatro Palace in São Paulo in 1986. It opened to great success in Brazil, with the Brazilian singer Cláudia being considered by a few critics as the best Evita of all the time. English producers Robert Stigwood and David Land, after watching the Brazilian production, said that Cláudia was the best Evita of all the singers who had played the role.
- Director: Maurício Shermann
- Choreographer: Johnny Franklin
- Conductor and musical director: Edson Frederico
- Stage director: Miguel Rosengberg
- Eva Perón – Cláudia
- Péron: – Mauro Mendonça
- Che – Carlos Augusto Strazzer
- Perón's Mistress – Sílvia Massari
- Magaldi – Hilton Prado
There have been numerous US and international touring productions of the show:
1980 first US National Tour Opened at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles and starred Loni Ackerman as Eva, Scott Holmes as Che, Jon Cypher as Juan Perón, Sal Mistretta as Magaldi and Cynthia Hunt as Perón's Mistress.
1982 second US National Tour Opened at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago and starred Valerie Perri as Eva, John Herrera as Che, Robert Alton as Juan Perón, Peter Marinos as Magaldi and Cynthia Simpson as Perón's Mistress.
1983 third US National Tour Opened at the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit and starred Florence Lacey as Eva, Tim Bowman as Che, John Leslie Wolfe as Juan Perón, Vincent Pirillo as Magaldi and Patricia Ludd as Perón's Mistress.
1984 US Tour Florence Lacey played Eva.
1986 US Tour Lacey again starred.
1987 UK and Irish Tour Rebecca Storm played Eva with Chris Corcoran as Che.
1989 World Tour Florence Lacey starred once more with James Sbano as Che and Robert Alton as Perón.
1994 US Tour A touring production was mounted in anticipation of the film version which lasted over a year and featured several actresses in the title role, including future Tony nominee Marla Schaffel. It was directed and choreographed by Larry Fuller and featured Daniel C. Cooney as Che.
1995-1996 UK Tour Paul Nicholas and David Ian, with the original producers Robert Stigwood and David Land, mounted a version closely based on the original London production starring Marti Webb, one of the first performers to play Eva, with Chris Corcoran as Che, Duncan Smith as Perón, Leo Andrew as Magaldi and Poppy Tierney as the mistress. Despite a few criticism over the casting of Webb at the age of 50, the success of the tour led to extensions throughout 1996.
1998 US twentieth Anniversary Tour A tour, based on the original Broadway production, which was originally scheduled to play on Broadway in the 1999–2000 season started in Detroit on 3 November 1998 and closed in Boston, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1999. It starred Natalie Toro as Eva, with Raul Esparza as Che and Raymond Jaramillo McLeod as Juan Perón. This production focused more on Latin themes. According to Playbill, "The Latin casting is part of an effort to instil this production with a more culturally authentic feel." Toro received excellent reviews, along with her leading men.
2004 US Tour A production opened in November 2004 with Kathy Voytko and Bradley Dean, directed by Harold Prince and Larry Fuller. This production closed in May 2007 but reopened later that year. It closed finally in June 2008.
2008 UK Tour A tour, following the then recent London production, began in 2008 starring Louise Dearman and later Rachael Wooding as Eva, Seamus Cullen (a finalist in the BBC show Any Dream Will Do) as Che, Mark Heenehan as Perón with James Waud as Magaldi who won the role in a competition, and Nikki Mae as Perón's Mistress, later Carly Bowmen. The UK tour ended in late 2009 but was remounted in March 2010, touring throughout Europe until April 2011. It continued in the UK and Germany from May to September 2011 featuring Abigail Jaye as Eva, Mark Powell as Che and Mark Heenehan as Perón.
2013-2014 UK Tour A tour, announced after the success of the Broadway production of the show, which was produced by Bill Kenwright. It opened on 15 May 2013 at the New Wimbledon Theatre, before dates at the Glasgow Kings Theatre, Theatre Royal Norwich, and the Wolverhampton Grand. The production starred Marti Pellow, the lead singer of the band Wet Wet Wet, as Che, Andrew C Wadsworth as Juan Perón, and Madalena Alberto as Eva Perón. The tour concluded with 55 performances at the Dominion Theatre on the West End in September and October 2014.
2006 London revival
On 2 June 2006, the first major London production of Evita after the original had closed 20 years earlier opened in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre. Directed by Michael Grandage, Argentine actress Elena Roger debuted as Eva, while Philip Quast appeared as Perón with Matt Rawle as Che. Its libretto included "You Must Love Me", written for the 1996 film, but which hadn't yet been included in an English-language stage production. The production opened to quite positive reviews, but ticket sales were slow, which resulted in its closure on 26 May 2007 after a run of less than a year. Quast and Roger were nominated for Olivier Awards for their performances.
2010 Stratford Shakespeare Festival
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival produced Evita as its first rock musical from 28 to 6 May November 2010. The principal characters are played by Chilina Kennedy (Eva), Juan Chioran (Juan), and Josh Young (Che), with direction by Gary Griffin.
2011 Second Brazilian production
A second Brazilian production directed by Jorge Takla premiered at Teatro Alfa in March 2011, with Paula Capovilla as Evita, Daniel Boaventura as Perón and Fred Silveira as Che.
2012 Broadway revival
A Broadway revival of the show, based upon the 2006 West End production, ran at the Marquis Theatre, with Elena Roger in the title role, Ricky Martin as Che, Michael Cerveris as Perón, Max von Essen as Magaldi (he is additionally Ricky Martin's understudy) and Rachel Potter as Mistress. Christina DeCicco alternated with Roger as Eva. Michael Grandage again directed the production with choreography by Rob Ashford, set and costume design by Christopher Oram and lighting design by Neil Austin. ThItas produced by Hal Luftig and Scott Sanders. Previews began on 12 March 2012 with the official opening on 5 April 2012. The production was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. It closed on 26 January 2013 after 337 performances and 26 previews.
2013 US Tour
A US national tour of the musical, based on the 2012 Broadway revival, began in September 2013. The cast for the tour included Caroline Bowman as Eva, Josh Young as Che, Sean McLaughlin as Perón, Christopher Johnstone as Magaldi, Krystina Alabado as Mistress and Desi Oakley as the alternate for Eva Perón.
2013/2014 Italian Production
The first Italian production premiered in Sanremo (IM) 5 December 2013, directed by Susanna Tagliapietra, with Italian lyrics by Marco Savatteri. The original cast included Simona Angioloni as Eva Duarte, Edoardo Pallanca as Che, Agostino Marafioti as Juan Perón, Matteo Merli as Magaldi, Diletta Mangolini as Mistress, replaced by Simona Marrocco in the touring production.
2015 Australian Production - Geelong
As part of the Australian Premiere re-release season, CenterStage Geelong proudly presents the first production of EVITA in Geelong in over 15 years. 17 July thru 1 August 2015
Plans for a film directed by Ken Russell developed soon after the West End and Broadway openings. Much speculation of potential leads included Barbra Streisand or Liza Minnelli as Eva, and Barry Gibb or Elton John as Che. These plans never came to fruition.
Russell has said that his own first choice for the film lead was Karla DeVito, who had come to fame in rock tours and on Broadway, where she had impressed the wife of Andrew Lloyd Webber. DeVito was screen tested for the role while in England shooting music videos for her solo album "Is This A Cool World or What?" DeVito's performance of "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" in the screen test caused much positive buzz. Russell wrote that she brought viewers to tears (except Tim Rice - who wanted Elaine Paige, with whom he was romantically involved). Although Russell rejected the idea, Paige was screen tested twice.
Russell's biography indicates that he met with Barbra Streisand, who dismissed the role immediately. He wrote that he then suggested Liza Minnelli. A year had passed between the first screen tests and Minnelli's, which Russell reports was amazing. Russell approached Stigwood with Minnelli's test, convinced she had the necessary talent and star quality, but he was soon told it was going to be Elaine Paige. Having already protested that idea, Russell quit the film. Years later when he saw Karla DeVito again, Russell addressed her as "My Evita."
It wasn't until 1996 that Evita came to the big screen. Alan Parker directed the film, with Madonna in the title role, Antonio Banderas as Che and Jonathan Pryce as Perón. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Original Song ("You Must Love Me," composed especially for the film). Madonna received mixed reviews but received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance. The film was choreographed by Vincent Paterson.
Awards and nominations
Original London production
|1978||The Society of West End Theatre (Olivier Awards)||Best New Musical||Won|
|Best Performance in a Musical||Elaine Paige||Won|
|Best Performance in a Musical||David Essex||Nominated|
|Director of the Year||Harold Prince||Nominated|
Original Broadway production
2006 West End revival
|2007||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Musical Revival||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Philip Quast||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Elena Roger||Nominated|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Rob Ashford||Nominated|
2012 Broadway revival
|2012||Tony Award||Best Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Michael Cerveris||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Rob Ashford||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Ricky Martin||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Michael Cerveris||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Rob Ashford||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design||Neil Austin||Nominated|
One episode of The Simpsons, "The President Wore Pearls", has a plot loosely based on the musical, with Lisa Simpson in Eva's role. The episode includes parodies of songs like "Don't Cry for Me, Kids of Springfield". At the end of the episode, a comical disclaimer is displayed stating, "On the advice of our lawyers, we swear we have never heard of a musical based on the life of Eva Perón".
During Glee, "Special Education", the characters Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry sing "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" when Kurt is auditioning for a solo in the Warblers for Sectionals. In the season three episode "Hold On to Sixteen", a rival showchoir sings "Buenos Aires" as their competition piece.
In the short "The Ballad of Magellan" in the cartoon series Animaniacs, the country of Argentina is depicted with a sign reading, "EVITA Coming Soon!".
First recorded by a cast assembled specifically for the recording in 1976, the first stage cast recording of Evita was of the original London production in 1978. The original Broadway cast was recorded for an album released in 1979. Lloyd Webber and Rice produced these first three recordings.
At least 25 English language cast albums have been released, along with a large number of foreign language recordings. There are currently four in Spanish, five German, three in Japanese, and two in Hebrew, with additional recordings in Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Portuguese, and Swedish.
Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa recorded a complete operatic version of the score with Christopher Lee as Perón. This recording, however, has never been released. Marti Webb additionally recorded a highlights album of sorts for the Pickwick Records label that featured Dave Willetts and Carl Wayne. It was release to coincide with the 1995 UK Tour of the show in which Webb starred.
English cast albums
|Album||Year of Release||Country||Type||Principals||Notes|
|Evita: An opera based on the life storey of Eva Perón 1919 - 1952||1976||UK||Complete||Cast assembled for studio recording|
|Evita: Original London Cast Recording||1978||UK||Highlights||Original London Cast|
|Evita: Premiere American Recording||1979||US||Complete||Original Broadway Cast|
|Evita: Highlights of the Original Broadway Production for the World Tour 89/90||1989||US||Highlights||Cast of the 1989/90 World Tour|
|Evita: Music from the Motion Picture||1996||US||Highlights||Single disc version|
|Evita: The Complete Motion Picture Music Soundtrack||1996||US||Complete||Two disc version|
|Evita: twentieth Anniversary Edition||1996||UK||Complete||A re-release of the 1976 recording|
|Evita: 2006 London Cast Recording||2006||UK||Highlights||Cast of the 2006 London production|
|Evita: New Broadway Cast Recording||2012||US||Complete||Cast of the 2012 Broadway production|