Evita (musical)

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Evita 1978 Prince Edward Theatre.jpg
Program from the original West End Production at the Prince Edward Theatre
MusicAndrew Lloyd Webber
LyricsTim Rice
Productions1976 concept album
1978 West End
1979 Broadway
1996 Film
2006 West End revival
2008 UK Tour
2010 UK Tour
2012 Broadway Revival
AwardsOlivier Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score
Tony Award for Best Book
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Evita 1978 Prince Edward Theatre.jpg
Program from the original West End Production at the Prince Edward Theatre
MusicAndrew Lloyd Webber
LyricsTim Rice
Productions1976 concept album
1978 West End
1979 Broadway
1996 Film
2006 West End revival
2008 UK Tour
2010 UK Tour
2012 Broadway Revival
AwardsOlivier Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score
Tony Award for Best Book

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 story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.

Evita began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976. Its success led to productions in London's West End in 1978, and on Broadway a year later, both of which enjoyed considerable success. A major 1996 film of the musical starred Madonna and Antonio Banderas. In 2006, the musical was revived in London, and on Broadway in 2012. Evita has had numerous professional tours and worldwide productions, and numerous cast albums have been recorded.



In 1972, Robert Stigwood proposed that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice develop a new musical version of Peter Pan, but they abandoned the project.

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'd 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 also arranged for Rice to see the film at Thames Television which he did "at least twenty times" saying also that "by that time I had seen Pasini's superbly researched film, I was hooked."[1] The more Rice investigated Eva Perón, going so far as to travel to Buenos Aires to research her life with many 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.[2] 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.[3] 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'd recently discovered Che Guevara was Argentine, it was not his original intention that the character be based upon him, however when Harold Prince later became involved with the project, he insisted that the actors portraying Che use Guevara as a role model.[4] In the 1996 film adaptation, the character returned to his more anonymous roots. This was also the case for the 2006 London revival.[5]

Lloyd Webber and conductor Anthony Bowles presented the musical at the second Sydmonton Festival before making the recording with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.[6]


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'd 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 also 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 some 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, also 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 also 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")[7] was released in October 1976. It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart[8] and enjoyed similar success internationally. Dickson's "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" also became a hit. In the U.S. and UK, respectively, Karen Carpenter, Olivia Newton-John, and Petula Clark released cover versions of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina".


Act I

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 during 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 modeled on a Catholic requiem). Ché, the narrator, cynically assesses the hysterical grief that gripped Argentina when Evita died ("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 is 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"). She soon dumps Magaldi, and Che relates the story of how Eva sleeps her way up the ladder, becoming 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 may soon coincide. She also 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 other 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 organizes a charity concert at the 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 Another Hall").

After moving in with Perón, Eva is introduced to high society, but she is 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 at winning the election. Eva reassures him and soon they organize 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").

Act II

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 despite 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 analyzes the price of fame as Eva dances at the Inaugural Ball with Perón, now Argentina's president-elect ("High Flying, Adored").

Eva insists on a glamorous image in order to impress the people of Argentina and promote Peronism. She prepares to tour in Europe as she is 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 is 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 is 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. However, 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"). However, he also acknowledges she won't be able to keep working for long as she will soon succumb to her cancer. Meanwhile, Eva is determined to run for vice president, much to Perón's fear that they will be overtaken by the military if she runs and that Eva's health is too delicate for any stressful work, but Eva insists she can continue, despite her failing health ("Dice Are Rolling/Eva's Sonnet").

Realising she is 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 and raising children ("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 16 years...."

Song list

Act I

  • "A Cinema in Buenos Aires, 26 July 1952" – Crowd°
  • "Requiem for Evita" – Chorus
  • "Oh What a Circus" – Che and Crowd
  • "On This Night of a Thousand Stars" – Magaldi
  • "Eva and Magaldi" / "Eva, Beware of the City" – Eva, Magaldi and Evita's Family
  • "Buenos Aires" – Eva and Crowd
  • "Good Night and Thank You" – Che, Eva, Magaldi and Lovers
  • "The Lady's Got Potential" – Che*
  • "The Art of the Possible" – Perón, Generals and Eva
  • "Charity Concert" – Perón, Che, Magaldi and Eva
  • "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You" – Eva and Perón
  • "Hello and Goodbye" – Eva
  • "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" – Perón's Mistress and Men's Chorus
  • "Peron's Latest Flame" – Che, Aristocrats, Soldiers and Eva
  • "A New Argentina" – Eva, Che, Perón and Crowd

Act II

  • Entr'acte
  • "On The Balcony of the Casa Rosada" – Perón, Che and Crowd
  • "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" – Eva
  • "High Flying Adored" – Che and Eva
  • "Rainbow High" – Eva and Dressers
  • "Rainbow Tour" – Perón, Advisers and Che
  • "The Actress Hasn't Learned the Lines (You'd Like to Hear)" – Eva, Aristocrats and Che
  • "And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)" – Che and Crowd
  • "Santa Evita" – Children and Chorus
  • "A Waltz for Eva and Che" – Eva and Che
  • "You Must Love Me" - Eva
  • "Peron's Latest Flame Playoff" - Soldiers**
  • "She is a Diamond" – Perón**
  • "Dice Are Rolling" / "Eva's Sonnet" – Perón and Eva
  • "Eva's Final Broadcast" – Eva
  • "Montage" – Eva, Che, Perón and Chorus***
  • "Lament" – Eva, Embalmers and Che


Musical analysis

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 such as the orchestral version of the "Lament" and the introduction to "Don't Cry for Me Argentina". Rhythmic Latinate styles are heard in pieces such as "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 Another Hall". Rock music includes "Oh What a Circus", "Peron'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 also been used in Japanese,[9] Czech,[10] and Danish[11] 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.
—Tomas Eloy Martinez[12]
Mandy Patinkin as Che in the 1979 Broadway production

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-Peronist 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 many of Main's assertions (which had influenced Rice's lyrics) were false, such as 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 also 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 sympathetic."[13]

Following the success of the film version of Evita, in 1996, an Argentinean film biography of Peron was released, titled Eva Perón: The True Story, asserting that it corrected distortions in the Lloyd Webber account.[14]


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 could not take on any new commitments for the next two years.[8] In the meantime, Lloyd Webber and Rice reworked several elements of the show. Some songs were dropped and some shortened, while others were introduced and some 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, other 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", during which military officers are eliminated until only Perón remains.[15]

Evita opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on 21 June 1978 and closed on 18 February 1986, after 3,176 performances.[16] Elaine Paige played Eva with David Essex as Che and Joss Ackland as Perón.[17] Paige was selected from among many hopefuls, after Julie Covington declined the role. 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 lastly Kathryn Evans with Maria Morgan.[18] Webb originally played the role during 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 becoming 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 also 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 20th 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".[19]

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.[20]

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 during 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 chorus members and dancers; instead, he had them go to charity and secondhand clothing shops to purchase costumes.[21] 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.

Original Broadway production

Poster for the Broadway production with Patti LuPone in the title role

The show 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, and Jane Ohringer as Peron's mistress. Harold Prince directed with choreography by Larry Fuller.[22] 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).[23] David Cantor 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.'"[24]

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.

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. 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 other cities, as well as in Latin American tours.[citation needed]

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 some 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.


Touring productions

There have been numerous US and international touring productions of the show:

1980 1st US National Tour Opened at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, and starred Loni Ackerman as Eva; Scott Holmes as Che; Jon Cypher as Juan Perón; Sal Mistretta as Magaldi; and Cynthia Hunt as Peron's Mistress.

1980 2nd US National Tour Opened at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, IL, and starred Valerie Perri as Eva; John Herrera as Che; Robert Alton as Juan Perón; Peter Marinos as Magaldi; and Cynthia Simpson as Peron's Mistress.

1982 3rd US National Tour Opened at the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit, MI, and starred Florence Lacey as Eva; Tim Bowman as Che; John Leslie Wolfe as Juan Perón; Vincent Pirillo as Magaldi; and Patricia Ludd as Peron's Mistress.

1984 US Tour Florence Lacey[25] played Eva.

1986 US Tour Lacey again starred.

1987 UK and Irish Tour Rebecca Storm played Eva and Chris Corcoran was Che.

1989 World Tour Florence Lacey starred once more with James Sbano as Che and Robert Alton as Peron.

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.[26]

1995 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 Peron, Leo Andrew as Magaldi and Poppy Tierney as the mistress. Despite some criticism over the casting of Webb at the age of 50, the success of the tour led to extensions throughout 1996.[27][28][29]

1998 The US 20th 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.[30] It starred Natalie Toro as Eva, with Raul Esparza as Che and Raymond Jaramillo McLeod as Juan Perón.[31] This production focused more on Latin themes.[32] According to Playbill, "The Latin casting is part of an effort to instill this production with a more culturally authentic feel."[30] 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.[33] 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)[34] as Che, Mark Heenehan as Peron[35] with James Waud as Magaldi who won the role in a competition, and Nikki Mae as Peron's Mistress. 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 Peron.[36]

2006 London revival

On 2 June 2006, the first major London production of Evita in 20 years opened in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre, directed by Michael Grandage with Argentine actress Elena Roger as Eva, Philip Quast as Perón and Matt Rawle as Che.[37] Its song list included "You Must Love Me", written for the 1996 film, which had never been part of an English-language stage production. The production opened to rave reviews, but ticket sales were slow, and the production closed on 26 May 2007, after a run of less than 12 months.[38] Quast and Roger received Olivier Award nominations for their performances in this revival.

2010 Stratford Shakespeare Festival

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival produced Evita as its first rock musical from May 28 to 6 November 2010. The principal characters are played by Chilina Kennedy (Eva), Juan Chioran (Juan), and Josh Young (Che), with direction by Gary Griffin.[39][40]

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 2006 West End production of Evita runs at the Marquis Theatre, with Elena Roger in the title role, Ricky Martin as Che, Max Von Essen as Magaldi and Michael Cerveris as Peron, with Christina DeCicco as the alternate for Eva Perón. Direction is by Michael Grandage, choreography by Rob Ashford, costume design by Christopher Oram and lighting design by Neil Austin. The show is being produced by Hal Luftig and Scott Sanders. Previews began on March 12, 2012 with the official opening on April 5.[41] Although the production received mixed to negative reviews,[42] it was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival.[43]

Ben Brantley in his review for The New York Times wrote: "Despite the hard work of its spirited leading lady, the Argentine actress Elena Roger — supported by a barely there Ricky Martin and a sterling Michael Cerveris — this musical combination of history pageant and requiem Mass feels about as warmblooded as a gilded mummy. As Che, Mr. Martin, the chart-topping pop star, is thin voiced, polite, vaguely charming and forgettable. As [Roger] morphs into Eva the diva, growing blonder with each scene, Ms. Roger never gives us much by way of character definition beyond that same grimly focused determination. There’s little variety or seductiveness in Ms. Roger’s singing voice, which is sharp and nasal, especially in the upper registers of the vocally punishing part. (You can see how she would have been good as Édith Piaf, whom she portrayed to acclaim in London.)".[44]

Peter Marks, reviewing for the Washington Post wrote: "Ricky Martin does a pretty good job of playing Ricky Martin throughout the plodding pageantry of 'Evita'.... The dashing pop star flashes dazzling smiles as he serenades us in troubadour style. But as Che, the angry spokesman of the Argentine masses, the charm feels utterly misapplied. Combined with the uneven vocal performance of Argentine actress Elena Roger...this new London-born incarnation of the 1979 pop opera proves to be a dull and second-rate offering".[45]

Film adaptation

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.[46] These plans never came to fruition. Russell has said his own choice for the film lead was Karla DeVito, who had come to fame in rock tours and on Broadway, and had done the role in a major regional production with her husband Robby Benson as Che.

It was not 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.

Awards and nominations

Original London production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
1978The Society of West End TheatreBest New MusicalWon
Best Performer of the Year in a MusicalElaine PaigeWon
Performance of the Year in a MusicalDavid EssexNominated
Director of the YearHarold PrinceNominated

Original Broadway production

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
1980Drama Desk AwardOutstanding MusicalWon
Outstanding LyricsTim RiceWon
Outstanding MusicAndrew Lloyd WebberWon
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalMandy PatinkinNominated
Outstanding Actress in a MusicalPatti LuPoneWon
Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalBob GuntonWon
Outstanding Director of a MusicalHarold PrinceWon
Outstanding ChoreographyLarry FullerNominated
Outstanding Costume DesignTimothy O'Brien and Tazeena FirthNominated
Outstanding Lighting DesignNominated
Outer Critics Circle AwardBest LyricistTim RiceWon
Tony AwardBest MusicalWon
Best Original ScoreAndrew Lloyd Webber and Tim RiceWon
Best Book of a MusicalTim RiceWon
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a MusicalPatti LuPoneWon
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a MusicalMandy PatinkinWon
Bob GuntonNominated
Best Direction of a MusicalHarold PrinceWon
Best Lighting DesignDavid HerseyWon
Best Scenic DesignTimothy O'Brien and Tazeena FirthNominated
Best Costume DesignNominated
Best ChoreographyLarry FullerNominated

2006 West End revival

YearAward CeremonyCategoryNomineeResult
2007Laurence Olivier AwardOutstanding Musical ProductionWon
Best Musical RevivalNominated
Best Actor in a MusicalPhilip QuastNominated
Best Actress in a MusicalElena RogerNominated
Best Theatre ChoreographerRob AshfordNominated

2012 Broadway revival

2012Tony AwardBest Revival of a MusicalNominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a MusicalMichael CerverisNominated
Best ChoreographyRob AshfordNominated
Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Revival of a MusicalNominated
Outstanding Actor in a MusicalRicky MartinNominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a MusicalMichael CerverisNominated
Outstanding ChoreographyRob AshfordNominated
Outstanding Lighting DesignNeil AustinNominated

Cultural impact

Evita came in sixth in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll of the UK's "Number One Essential Musicals".[47]

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 such as "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.


Cover of Original Broadway Recording

At least 25 English language cast albums have been released, along with many 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.[48]

Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa recorded a complete operatic version of the score with Christopher Lee as Peron. This recording, however, has never been released. Marti Webb also recorded a highlights album of sorts for the Pickwick Records label that also featured Dave Willetts and Carl Wayne.


  1. ^ Citron, pp.192-193
  2. ^ Citron, pp.191-97
  3. ^ Fraser and Navarro, p. 199
  4. ^ Citron, p. 223
  5. ^ Programme notes, 2006 London production
  6. ^ Citron, p. 229
  7. ^ Citron, p. 226
  8. ^ a b Citron, p. 230
  9. ^ "Japanese version, 1982, Recorded live at the Nissei Theater" CastAlbums.org, accessed 26 August 2011
  10. ^ "Czech version, 1998" CastAlbums.org, accessed 26 August 2011
  11. ^ "Danish version, 2001" CastAlbums.org, accessed 26 August 2011
  12. ^ Martinez, Tomas Eloy."Evita Or Madonna: Whom Will History Remember?, Interview" LasMujeres.com, Retrieved 13 June 2006
  13. ^ Fraser and Navarro, p.193
  14. ^ Eva Peron, 1996 Argentine film biography of Eva Peron Amazon.com, accessed 26 August 2011
  15. ^ Citron, p. 231
  16. ^ Evita at Prince Edward Theatre thisistheatre.com, retrieved 17 March 2010.
  17. ^ Citron, p. 232.
  18. ^ Inverne, J. "Jack Tinker: A Life in Review", p. 21, Oberon, 1997.
  19. ^ Citron, pp. 232-33.
  20. ^ Award-Winners-1978 "S.W.E.T Award Winners 1978" Olivierawards.com, accessed 21 December 2011
  21. ^ Citron, pp. 231-32
  22. ^ "'Evita' listing, 1979-1983" InternetBroadwayDatabase.com, accessed 26 August 2011
  23. ^ Green, Stanley and Green, Kay. Broadway Musicals, Show By Show. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1996, ISBN 0-7935-7750-0, p. 254.
  24. ^ Green, Jesse. "Let Her Entertain You. Please" The New York Times, 8 July 2007
  25. ^ Christon, Lawrence. "Five Years Later, Lacey Ponders Life After 'Evita'" Los Angeles Times, 8 May 1986
  26. ^ Harvey, Alec. "This Touring "Evita Boasts Top-Notch Troupe", Birmingham News (Alabama), 23 January 1994, p. 101.
  27. ^ "Musical Fans Snap Up Seats For Evita" (Darlington Civic Theatre, May 1996), The Northern Echo, 30 November 1995.
  28. ^ Bruce, Keith. "Evita, Playhouse, Edinburgh", The Herald (Glasgow), 27 April 1995, p. 17.
  29. ^ Coveney, Michael. "Evita: If you can't wait for the film, a big national tour of classic 1978 Rice/Lloyd Webber musical, led by Marti Webb", The Observer, 19 March 1995, p. 14.
  30. ^ a b Ehren, Christine and Simonson, Robert. "Bway-Bound Evita Tour Stops at the Ohio in Columbus March 23-28" Playbill.com, 23 March 1999
  31. ^ "Tour listing" Broadwayworld.com, accessed 6 March 2009.
  32. ^ "Evita tour listing" TimRice.com, accessed 6 March 2009.
  33. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Rainbow Tour: Kathy Voytko Is 'Evita' in New Prince-ly Road Company, Taking Off Nov. 2" Playbill.com, November 2, 2004
  34. ^ Lathan, Peter. "Review-Evita at Theatre Royal, Newcastle" BritishTheatreGuide.info, circa July 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2011
  35. ^ High, Chris. "Review-'Evita' tour, Liverpool Empire Theatre" WhatsOnStage.com, 29 May 2008
  36. ^ "Cast list 2011" Official Website, Bill Kenwright Ltd, accessed 28 May 2011.
  37. ^ "Cast list, 2006", ReallyUseful.com, retrieved 24 February 2010.
  38. ^ "Joseph hangs Dreamcoat at Adelphi in July". Society of London Theatre. 4 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927202112/http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/display?contentId=93524. Retrieved 2 June 2007. .
  39. ^ "'Evita' listing, 2010" StratfordFestival.ca, accessed 5 January 2011
  40. ^ Bey, Mardam Kindah. "Review, 'Evita', Stratford Shakespeare Festival" PressPlus1.com, 11 June 2010
  41. ^ Gans, Andrew."Elena Roger and Ricky Martin Begin a Waltz for Eva and Che in Broadway Revival of 'Evita' March 12" Playbill.com, 12 March 2012
  42. ^ "Review Roundup: EVITA Returns to Broadway Starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger & Michael Cerveris - All the Reviews!". BroadwayWorld.com, April 5, 2012
  43. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "'Once', 'Clybourne Park', 'Porgy and Bess', Audra McDonald, 'Salesman' Win Tony Awards" Playbill.com, June 10, 2012
  44. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Reviews. Evita Starring Elena Roger at the Marquis Theater. The New York Times, April 6, 2012
  45. ^ Marks, Peter. "'Evita' on Broadway: Ricky Martin’s charm as Che is misapplied". The Washington Post, April 6, 2012
  46. ^ Greenberg, James (19 November 1989). "Is It Time Now to Cry for ‘Evita’?". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/19/movies/is-it-time-now-to-cry-for-evita.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved 9 August 2009. 
  47. ^ "Elaine Paige - Nation's Favourite Musicals". BBC Radio 2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/paige/essentialvote.shtml. Retrieved 2 June 2007. 
  48. ^ [1] subtitles.o2.cz[dead link]


External links