Evita blends Latin music, pop, jazz, and musical theatre styles to create a moving, emotional, and resonant musical classic. Following the rise of ambitious and ruthless Eva Peron through the eyes of the future revolutionary leader Ché Guevara, Evita has become a musical theatre stalwart of the late 20th century with its female and male star power and highly involved, musically meaningful chorus.
Born of the same rock-opera concept as Webber and Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, the show is known for catapulting female Broadway royalty, including Patti LuPone and Elaine Page, to the spotlight. The show’s Broadway run famously included Eva “alternates,” Nancy Opal and Terri Klausner, both of whom left the cast to pursue other projects after controversial confusion around their involvement in creating, and performing, the role of Eva. Ultimately, the score proved an exhausting challenge to nearly every actress who took it on, and alternates were necessary to preserve the vocal health of the show’s leading ladies, including the original Broadway Eva, Patti LuPone, and preserve the reputation of the show itself. The role of Ché, originated by Colm Wilkinson on the 1976 concept album, became an iconic leading-man role when redefined by Mandy Patinkin on Broadway. Even the stoic role of Perón has been portrayed by some of the stage’s leading men, including Jonathan Pryce (in the film version) and Michael Cerveris (in the 2012 revival). Later, this role was adopted by superstars Antonio Banderas, and in 2012, Ricky Martin, as a more “everyman” role for Latin men, and less of an homage to the original Guevara.
Bolstered in popularity by a 1981 Grammy Award for the original cast recording and revived as a 1996 Hollywood blockbuster, this musical is an accessible and approachable story that has resonated with audiences around the world, winning seven of its 10 Tony nominations in 1980, including Best Musical.