DONALD E. BIRELY
Music Director -
Feb. 1 - 9 | Warner Mainstage
Tickets: $18 - $26
Lyrics by: Tim Rice
Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Argentina's controversial First Lady is the subject of this dynamic musical masterpiece. As an illegitimate fifteen year old, Eva escaped her dirt-poor existence for the bright lights of Buenos Aires. Driven by ambition and blessed with charisma, she was a starlet at twenty-two, the president's mistress at twenty-four, First Lady at twenty-seven, and dead at thirty-three. Eva Peron 'saint to the working-class, reviled by the aristocracy and mistrusted by the military' was destined to leave a fascinating political legacy unique in the 20th century. Told through a compelling score that fuses haunting chorales with exuberant Latin, pop and jazz influences, EVITA creates an arresting theatrical portrait as complex as the woman herself.
About The Show:
EVITA premiered at the Broadway Theatre in New York on September 25, 1979, where it would run for 1,567 performances. The show marked legendary director Hal Prince’s first collaboration with Webber (they would later team up for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in 1988).
The 1981 cast recording was awarded a Grammy Award, and there have been over 100 covers of the hit single "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." The song was first recorded by Julie Covington and sold over 2 million copies—it was Webber and Rice's first UK no. 1. Pop-star Madonna played the title role alongside Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce in the 1996 movie version. The first major revival of EVITA, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Elena Roger, opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London June 21, 2006 to rave reviews.
EVITA was Tim Rice's idea. He was very intrigued by the fact that she was mentioned in the context of a whole load of fifties figures who were very successful, including people like James Dean, and I think he was curious to find out why she became this kind of cult figure, this huge figure in Argentina. And I think he became very attracted to the story.
The biggest problem for me as the composer of it is that of course I could have let the whole thing go as a high romance. I could make everybody cry their eyes out at the end of all this, but that was not the point of the piece. In a way, the piece had to keep this slightly Brechtian approach to the whole thing, where you have the Ché character able to commentate on the quite grisly things that she did. And to turn her into some sort of great romantic figure would have been really quite easy. But no, I never fell in love with the woman—very much the reverse. When Tim talked to me about the idea of doing the piece, I thought that if I could crack the moment where she did some piece which indeed did turn into an anthem, then I would have done it. This is a very interesting dramatic thing, because here you have a song that represents Eva Perón at her very height and at her most manipulative—when she's speaking on the Casa Rosada balcony—and yet the song eventually turns on her. When she does the final broadcast, it becomes something which is really pathetic. And I thought, if I could crack that, then I've got a dramatic line through the piece from which most other things would follow. And so, in fact, "Don't Cry for Me" was the first thing I wrote. And if that hadn't happened, I don't think we would have gone on to do EVITA. It's very hard, because I just know that we had to have one central thing like that. It was the gangplank of the whole thing. But, in fact, the song that would carry the show or would carry the person playing Eva Perón in the theater was "Rainbow High." If the artist cracked that, then the show was theirs.
February 08, 1986
In 1986, the original production of EVITA closed in London after a West End run of 2,900 performances.
September 25, 1979
In 1979, EVITA opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre starring Patti LuPone in the title role. It ran for 1,567 performances, and won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book, Score, and Direction.
March 22, 1948
In 1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber was born, composer of hit musicals CATS, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, BY JEEVES, ASPECTS OF LOVE, WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, and SUNSET BOULEVARD.
November 10, 1944
The birthday of Tim Rice, lyricist and longtime collaborator with Andrew Lloyd Webber on EVITA, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Rice also contributed lyrics to the Disney films ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING.
June 21, 1978
In 1978, EVITA premiered at the West End's Prince Edward Theatre where it ran for 2,900 performances.
June 26, 1983
In 1983 EVITA closed on Broadway after a run of 1,567 performances and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.