EVITA 2021

Evita

Evita brings to life the rags-to-riches rise of Eva Peron, the First Lady of Argentina.

Lyrics by Tim Rice    Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, the Tony-winning musical follows Eva Duarte on her journey from poor, illegitimate child to ambitious actress to, as wife of military leader-turned-president Juan Peron, the most powerful woman in Latin America, before her death from cancer at age 33.

The events in Evita’s life are presented in song and commented on by the show’s narrator, Che. Well-known numbers from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece include “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” “Oh What a Circus,” “Buenos Aires” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall.”

With strong leading and featured roles, scope for a large ensemble and one of Lloyd Webber’s most-loved scores, combining Latin, jazz, pop and more traditional influences, Evita is a terrific show for college, amateur theatre and professional groups. School teachers should determine whether the adult themes explored at certain points, especially in Act One’s number “Goodnight and Thank You,” are suitable for their students.

Evita Major Production History and Awards

As with Jesus Christ Superstar, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber first released a concept album of the sung-through musical in 1976. Julie Covington’s version of Evita's anthem "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" became a number one hit.

The Hal Prince-helmed stage production opened on June 21, 1978 at London’s Prince Edward Theatre, starring pop singer David Essex in the "narrator" role of Che and Elaine Paige in the title role. Evita picked up Oliviers for Best New Musical and Best Performance in a Musical for Paige and ran for 3,176 performances.

Evita premiered on the Great White Way at the Broadway Theatre on September 25, 1979, where it ran for 1,567 performances. Headlined by Patti LuPone as Eva and Mandy Patinkin as Che, the production collected seven Tony Awards including Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical of the year. In 1981, the Evita cast recording received a Grammy Award.

Productions of Evita have been performed all over the world, including Austria, Spain, Mexico and South Africa. A revival of the show opened at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 2006, with Argentine actress Elena Roger as Eva. She later reprised the role in the musical’s first Broadway revival, which began performances at the Marquis Theatre in March 2012, co-starring Ricky Martin as Che. Evita returned to the West End once again in 2014, with Madalena Alberto as Eva and Marti Pellow as Che.

After nearly twenty years of planning and negotiations, a film of the musical finally graced the silver screen in 1996 with Antonio Banderas as Che and blonde ambition supplied by Madonna as Eva. The song “You Must Love Me,” penned by Rice and Lloyd Webber for the movie, garnered the pair an Oscar.

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