Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice's musical, starring Argentine singer/dancer Elena Roger, opened to acclaim at London's Adelphi Theatre on June 21 following previews that began June 2. The cast also feature Matt Rawle (Camelot, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre) as the narrator and three-times Oliivier Award winner Philip Quast (Sunday in the Park With George, The Fix and South Pacific) as Peron.
Evita focuses on Eva Peron's rise from her slum origins to the wife of Argentina's post-war nationalist leader Juan Peron, a position from which she held her people in thrall. Such was her power she became her country's unofficial vice-president, growing richer while her people's poverty deepened. She died of cancer at the age of 33.
This is the first major revival of the musical since Evita premiered at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1978. Hal Prince's production made a London star out of Elaine Paige and a Broadway star out of Patti LuPone. Madonna was already rather well known when she took on the role in Alan Parker's 1996 movie version.
The creative cast of the new production includes design by Christopher Oram and choreography by Rob Ashford, who with director Grandage are responsible for the latest West End revival of Guys and Dolls.
Evita is produced by Andre Ptaszynski for Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Company.