EXCLUSIVE: Is London's Acclaimed Evita Coming to Broadway? Director Grandage Speaks

News   EXCLUSIVE: Is London's Acclaimed Evita Coming to Broadway? Director Grandage Speaks While we had Tony Award-nominated director Michael Grandage on the phone to talk about Red, we couldn't help asking: Is there still talk of bringing his 2006 London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita — starring Argentinean actress Elena Roger — to Broadway?
Elena Roger in Evita
Elena Roger in Evita

"There is talk of Evita coming to the U.S.," Grandage said. "I've no idea at the moment, to be honest with you, where we are with that, because I haven't checked with it for some time. I know there is a wish to bring it, and I know there is a lot of people wanting to make it happen, and I would love to bring that particular production to New York, because I know it hasn't been seen in New York for well over a quarter of a century — and we have done a lot with it in that time, and it was, as you know, a wonderful success for us in England."

Could this happen in 2010-11? "Oh, no," Grandage said, "I do know that it definitely won't be. That's only because I know exactly what I'm doing for the next year, and I know it's not Evita, so I can categorically say it won't be coming in the next season."

And the hope is that Elena Roger will be part of it on Broadway?

"We built it around the first Argentinean woman to ever play the role of Eva and it was so crucial to the whole production that it would be inconceivable to do it without her," Grandage said.

Will we see any other Grandage-directed work in New York City in the coming year? "The answer to that, as you and I speak now, is that there are no plans," Grandage explained on June 4. "But of course, if you and I had spoken a year ago, there were no plans to bring Red to Broadway, and indeed any of the [plays I directed]: There were no plans to bring Frost/Nixon to Broadway, and there were certainly no plans before we opened to bring Hamlet to Broadway. I'm not actually doing any productions other than Donmar [Warehouse] productions over the next year except for a production I'm doing at the National Theatre here, next, which is Danton's Death."

Grandage's 2006 Evita revival, choreographed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford, received three Olivier nominations: Outstanding Musical Production and Best Actress and Best Actor in a Musical. (All three awards were scooped by another musical revival, Sunday in the Park With George.)

Evita — the musical tale of the rise of poor Eva Peron to the leadership of postwar Argentina — premiered as a two-LP concept recording starring Julie Covington (Eva) and Colm Wilkinson (Che). Lloyd Webber wrote the music, Rice wrote the lyrics. Harold Prince staged both the original London and New York productions of the musical, which made stars of Elaine Paige (in London) and Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone (on Broadway). The score features such tunes as "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Buenos Aires," "A New Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall," "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You" and "Rainbow High." Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce starred in the film version.

Grandage, artistic director of London's Donmar Warehouse, will direct Derek Jacobi in King Lear at the Donmar in late 2010.

Read Playbill.com's recent Brief Encounter interview with Grandage.

Elena Roger and Company in <i>Evita</i>
Elena Roger and Company in Evita
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