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“Simply put, New Line Theatre’s current production of Evita absolutely rocks! . . . Scott Miller’s direction is impeccable. . . . The cast is sharp and focused throughout, and the ensemble singing is gorgeous.”
– Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld.com
“Miller’s Evita is visceral, raucous and always entertaining, bringing out the best in Lloyd Webber’s complex and diverse score and underscoring Rice’s sophisticated and compelling lyrics in clever fashion. A 4.5 on a scale of 1-to-5.”
– Mark Bretz, Ladue News
“I really admire what New Line found in Evita, and I’m afraid the standard version is going to disappoint me even more when I see it next.”
– Gerry Kowarsky, Two on the Aisles
Money, sex, power, fame –
who knew they had a dark side?
At the center of the story sits a popular, charismatic political figure, beloved by followers and despised by opponents. A celebrity. A demagogue. The leader of a movement. Nope, we're not talking about Barack Obama or Sarah Palin or even Glenn Beck.
Or are we?
In Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterwork of rock opera, it's Argentina in the 1940s. It only feels like America today.
New Line closed its 19th season with the brilliant political potboiler, the rock opera EVITA. And with this production, New Line offered audiences a new, more intimate, more political, more rock and roll Evita, based more on the original 1976 concept album than on the massive 1979 Broadway production. No violins and no giant chorus, just sex, power, and rock and roll. The original Broadway show focused on the story's pomp and spectacle, but seen through the lens of 2010, New Line's EVITA centered on the petty games and grudges that make politics a contact sport, but also the unconventional love story between Eva and the working people of Argentina.
Evita tells the story of Eva Perón, from her roots in a small town through her meteoric rise to international fame/infamy as the faux-populist first lady of Argentina. Today, it's hard not to see her rise in parallel to our current political superstars like Beck, Palin, and Obama. Though Eva was a real historical figure, Tim Rice fashions her turbulent life into a rowdy, visceral, Shakespearean thriller of intrigue, betrayal, greed, power, and obsessive love. With Evita, lyricist Tim Rice honed his smartass, acerbic bite, but also went deeper than before into the emotional life of his characters. And composer Andrew Lloyd Webber recreated the energy of his Jesus Christ Superstar music but went beyond it to wrote the most mature score of his career, still rooted firmly in rock and roll. Like Tommy and Jesus Christ Superstar before it, Evita is real rock opera.
The cast for New Line's EVITA included Taylor Pietz (Eva Perón), John Sparger (Che), Todd Schaefer (Juan Perón), Zachary Allen Farmer (Agustin Magaldi), Terrie Carolan (Perón's Mistress), Aaron Allen, Tyla Daniels, Mike Dowdy, Macia Noorman, Jeanitta Perkins, Eeyan Richardson, David Sajewich, Michelle Sauer, Kimi Short, and Christopher Strawhun. The production staff included Scott Miller (director), Jake Fruend (asst. director), Robin Berger (choreographer), Thom Crain (costume designer), Todd Schaefer (scenic designer), Kenneth Zinkl (lighting designer), and Robert Healey (sound designer).
New Line's Evita
|Want to explore more? We recommend:|
The original 1976 studio cast recording of Evita (the best of the various recordings)
Director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay about the show
The Evita page on Andrew Lloyd Webber's website
The film version of the show on DVD
Several excellent documentaries:
Wikipedia article about the famous events of October 17, 1945, referenced in the show
"The Perónist March" lyrics (In Spanish and English)
A webpage about Eva's death and funeral, including some very cool newsreel footage
What Eva was to Juan Perón, Aspasia was to Pericles
An excellent 2002 New York Times article about Eva Perón, the myths and legends, and the opening of an Eva Perón museum in Argentina
A New York Times review of two books about Evita, with some fascinating biographical details about Eva and Juan Perón
Eugene Robinson's 2009 Washington Post column comparing Sarah Palin to Eva Perón
Another fascinating blog entry comparing Sarah Palin and Eva Perón