Entertainment :: Music

Evita - New Broadway Cast Recording

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Tuesday Jul 24, 2012
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Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice followed up their 1970 rock opera collaboration, "Jesus Christ Superstar" with a concept album that subsequently became their next sung-through piece, using the iconic Argentinean First Lady, Eva Peron, as its subject. The resulting 1978 opera, "Evita," was a mild success in America while proving a blockbuster in the U.K., and showed its staying power over the following decades, primarily due to the tremendous success of the show’s hit single, "Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina."

Fast forward to 2012, and "Evita" currently enjoys its first revival on Broadway, anchored by the trio of Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris, and in the title role, Elena Roger. Martin, recreating the role made famous by Mandy Patinkin, navigates effectively the yeoman’s task of the part of Che Guavara, guiding us through the all-too-short life of Eva, the performer-turned-politician. Martin, known for the pop/dance sensation, "La Vida Loca," is at his best when the stakes are highest in Act Two, with the accusatory "And The Money Kept Rolling In (and Out)," though his crooning of "High Flying, Adored" will definitely keep his already established fans swooning.

The real joy, however, comes from Roger, the first Argentinean actress to portray the cryptic woman on Broadway. The history books remain highly divided over the second wife of President Juan Peron, some praising her as a saint for bringing needed services to the poor during her tenure in power, with others criticizing her as just another money grabbing gold-digger, putting up the façade of a helpful leader while making sure it was her own pockets that were well padded. Roger’s performance tends towards the former, giving a determination to Eva that regardless of the opinion of her personal motives earns her respect and admiration for what she accomplished during her lifetime (1919-1952), tragically cut short by cancer.

Cerveris’ Tony© nominated role as Juan Peron provides adequate vocal support for Eva, further establishing himself as a musical chameleon capable of tackling a variety of character roles. Several new orchestrations and arrangements (particularly on "Buenos Aires") contribute greatly to welcoming this new recording into the 21st century.

"Evita - New Broadway Cast Recording"
Andrew Lloyd Webber / Tim Rice
CD and Digital formats
Masterworks Broadway / Really Useful Group

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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