Argentina’s controversial First Lady is the subject of this dynamic musical masterpiece. As an illegitimate 15 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.
The musical began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976. Its success led to productions in London’s West End in 1978, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical, and on Broadway a year later, where it was the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical. This was followed by a string of professional tours and worldwide productions and numerous cast albums, as well as a major 1996 film of the musical starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. The musical was revived in London in 2006 and on Broadway in 2012.
“Say what you will about Mr. Lloyd Webber, no composer since Puccini has managed to write tunes that adhere so insistently to the memory. I thought I was fully immune to the show’s signature song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from having heard it everywhere (even discos) in my youth. But darned if that slippery thing, whose melody is a repeated leitmotif in the show, hasn’t attached itself like a leech all over again.”
– New York Times review