Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Evita" has been inspired by the first lady of Argentina, Eva Perón. The musical traces the beautiful story of an ambitious woman, who disregards social convention and creates her own path in life. Reaching the pinnacle of success and fame, she looks back and reflects on her decisions, pondering whether they were right.
How it Began
The idea for the play originated when Tim Rice -the lyricist for the play- was listening about Eva Perón on a radio and was so intrigued that he decided to make a movie on her. Rice was always fascinated by Eva's image on Argentinean stamps but he did not know her significance as a political leader before. Once he started researching about her, he was hooked forever. He even named his first daughter after her. Finally, Rice met Webber and they both drafted a plan to make a musical on the short life of Eva Perón.
Story as a Rock-Opera Album
The songwriting team came up with a musical that was more of a rock-opera concert album based on the interesting storyline. In 1976, the two-disc set was released that was appreciated a lot. The album hit the charts and earned the team Laurence Olivier Award for "Best Musical". On Broadway the next year, it won the Tony Award again for Best "Musical".
In a Nutshell
Evita is a musical account of life of an amazing lady, María Eva Duarte de Perón. It traces how an illegitimate girl from a poor family becomes one of the most powerful ladies of the country. Being married to Argentine president Juan Perón, she attains the status of being the First Lady of Argentine. Soon she becomes a favorite among the masses, winning the hearts of Argentinean common people, but at the same time her disregard of the societal codes make her a disliked figure among the elite class of her country. Her untimely death due to cancer makes her a lost legend. The life of Eva continues to awe audiences even today. Evita tickets are being sold so fast that it seems Evita was not only popular in South America, but there are many who still want to know more about the enigmatic figure.
The music consists of assorted tunes, ranging from classical music in the opening chorus "Requiem for Evita" to an orchestral "Lament". Rhythmic Latinate in "Buenos Aires" and "On This Night of a Thousand Stars" along with rock music in "Oh What a Circus" add an exciting touch. Varying tunes and melodies also lead the audiences' emotions to fluctuate with them.
Then and Now
The musical show, Evita started in September 1979 on Broadway Theater. The original cast included Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Marks Syers, Bob Gunton, Terri Klausner and Jane Ohringer. Directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Larry Fuller, the play was as sensational then, just as it is now. This year the cast of the play includes Marti Pellow, Mark Heenehan, Sarah McNicholas, Madalena Alberto, Nick Gibney, Natalie Day and Hannah Grover. The director for the play is Bob Tomson and the incredible choreography has been done by Bill Deamer. The story line and the music can be credited to the exceptional duo Andrew Llyod Webber and Tim Rice. Together the creative team brings a dramatic production that is receiving rave reviews and running successfully, continuing to set records.