Evita features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice and is one of their most successful musicals. The show is based on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron who became the spiritual leader of the nation rising from nothing to become one of the most famous political figures in the country’s history. The show tells her rise to fame through the eyes of the people, using an omniscient narrator to chart her journey. The show had an incredible run in the West End and on Broadway.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Evita Original London Production
Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 21 Jun 1978, closed 18 Feb 1986, 3176 performances
Cast: Elaine Paige (Eva), David Essex (Che) Joss Ackland (Perón)
Evita Original Broadway Production
The Broadway Theatre - Opened 25 Sep 1979, closed 23 Jun 1983, 1567 performances
Cast: Patti LuPone (Eva), Mandy Patinkin (Che), Bob Gunton (Perón)
Evita London Revival
Adelphi Theatre - Opened 2 Jun 2006, closed 27 May 2007
Cast: Elena Rodger (Eva), Matt Rawle (Che), Philip Quast (Person)
Evita Broadway Revival
Marquis Theatre - Opened 5 Apr 2012, closed 1 Jan 1970
Cast: Elena Rodger (Eva), Ricky Martin (Che), Michael Cerveris (Peron)
What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box
The story begins in a cinema in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 26 1952. As the audience watch a film, it is interrupted by the manager who says that Eva Peron, the spiritual leader of the nation has passed away. A “Lament” begins and we see how the people of Argentina react to the news. The narrator Che looks on unimpressed and comments on what has happened to a city mourning the death of a celebrity, (“Oh, What a Circus!”).
We go back in time to see Eva in 1934 at the age of 15. Her first love affair was with a tango singer, Agustin Magaldi (“On This Night of a Thousand Stars”) whom she begs to take her to Buenos Aires. He is warned by her family (“Eva Beware of the City”) but finally gives in and Eva sing about her ambitions in the capital city, (“Buenos Aires”). He leaves Eva as she realises he is actually married, and she begins sleeping her way to the top with whoever will help her fulfil her goal as an actress, (“Goodnight and Thank You”). Che tells about the changing political face of Argentina and the right wing coup of 1943, and we see Colonel Peron climb the political ladder, (“The Lady’s Got Potential / The Art of the Possible”).
At a charity concert in Luna Park, Eva meets Peron (“Charity Concert”) and the two realise they can both help each other out (“I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You”). She kicks Peron’s Mistress out of the bed, who wanders away never to be seen again, (“Another Suitcase in Another Hall”).
As it becomes public knowledge that Peron and Eva are together, she is met with disdain from the upper classes and the Army who are nervous of a lower class girl so close to power, (“Peron’s Latest Flame”). In 1946 we see Peron beginning his election race, which Eva assures him will be successful. Together they fight for “A New Argentina” threatening to take down anyone who stands in their way.
Peron is elected to President in 1946 and stands on the “Balcony of the Casa Rosada” to address the thousands of poor ‘descomisados’ who wish for a better future. Eva tells the gathered crowd that she once hoped for fame and glory, but is now focused on her people “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”. Che ponders the price of fame as Eva greets people at the inaugural ball,(“High Flying, Adored”).
Eva begins to grow more popular than her husband, and demands to be dressed as good as possible, (“Rainbow High”). She sets off on a European tour to meet heads of state, but is met with mixed reactions in the warn torn Europe. She continues to despise the Upper Class, (“Rainbow Tour”). Che wonders when she will actually begin her charitable work, commenting that “The Actress Hasn’t Learnt the Lines (You’d Like to Hear”). She set up her foundation for the poor which acts a cover up for money laundering, (“The Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)”). As she visits the church to take sacrament (“Santa Evita”) she goes into a trancelike state and has a vision which manifests itself as her dancing with Che who represents the people of Argentina (“Waltz for Eva and Che”). She finally admits that she is dying and realises that Peron love her for herself and not the publicity it brings him, (“You Must Love Me”).
She fights to run for Vice President, but the army are getting sick of her political meddling (“She is a Diamond”) and Peron tells her that her health must come first. Realising that the cancer is slowly taking over her body, she tells the people of Argentina that she loves them “Eva’s Final Broadcast” and her achievements fly past her eyes in a “Montage”. She dies and the embalmers preserve her body, before it is stolen for 16 years, (“Lament”).
- A Cinema in Buenos Aires; July 26, 1952
- Requiem for Evita /Oh, What a Circus
- On This Night of a Thousand Stars
- Eva, Beware of the City
- Buenos Aires
- Goodnight and Thank You
- The Art of the Possible
- Charity Concert /I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You
- Hello and Goodbye/Another Suitcase in Another Hall
- Peron’s Latest Flame
- A New Argentina
- On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada
- Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
- High Flying Adored
- Rainbow High
- Rainbow Tour
- The Actress Hasn’t Learned (The Lines You’d Like to Hear)
- And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)
- Santa Evita
- Waltz For Eva and Che
- She is a Diamond
- Dice Are Rolling
- Eva’s Final Broadcast
- Your Little Body’s Slowly Breaking Down
- You Must Love Me(Added for Movie)
1978 – Society of West End Awards: Best Musical, Best Performer of the Year
1980 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Performance by Leading Actress, Best Performance by Featured Actor, Best Direction, Best Lighting.
2007 Oliver Award: Outstanding Musical Production
UK: Really Useful Group
USA: Really Useful Group