Madonna's Evita Film Opens

News   Madonna's Evita Film Opens A year of hype climaxef Christmas Day with the opening of Alan Parker's film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita, starring Madonna.

A year of hype climaxef Christmas Day with the opening of Alan Parker's film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita, starring Madonna.

International film critics have already nominated the movie for five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture.

The long-awaited film Evita also stars Jonathan Pryce as Juan Peron, Antonio Banderas as Che Guevara, and Jimmy Nail as Magaldi.

The film is being directed by Parker ("Fame," The Commitments, "Pink Floyd: The Wall"), who also wrote the screenplay. Cinematography is by Darius Khondji. The production has been designed by Brian Morris; costumes are by Penny Rose. Both designers worked on Parker's The Commitments and Pink Floyd: The Wall.

The film score for Evita fairly closely resembles the stage version, as those who have listened to the soundtrack (released in November) know. There are a few significant changes: * A new song, "You Must Love Me," has been written to take the place of the "Dice Are Rolling" sequence near the end of the film, when Evita is dying. Madonna sings it.

* The song "The Lady's Got Potential," which was on the original "white" studio album, but omitted from stage versions, has been restored, but with different lyrics. It is sung by Che.

* "Another Suitcase, Another Hall" is sung by Madonna, as Evita, instead of by Peron's mistress, as in previous versions.

* Most of the song "The Art of The Possible" has been cut.

Madonna is known for her recording career that has included the hit CD "Like a Virgin," films including Desperately Seeking Susan, and the erotic photo book Sex.

Pryce has established himself in American popular culture from his moody black-and-white Infiniti car commercials. But he's had a major career on stage, most notably as the Engineer in the original Miss Saigon in London and on Broadway. His casting in the half-Asian role earned the British actor protests when the show came to New York. Pryce also appeared in Comedians on Broadway and the London revival of Oliver! earlier this year. His film career includes Glengarry Glen Ross and Age of Innocence.

Banderas is a Spanish actor who has appeared in five Pedro Almodovar films, but his better known to American audiences from Interview With a Vampire and the recent Assassins. He also made a splash in tabloids as consort of actress Melanie Griffith.

Robert Stigwood (Grease, Tommy, Saturday Night Fever), Alan Parker and Andrew G. Vajna are the producers the soundtrack. It was released by Hollywood Pictures in the U.S and Latin America; and by Paramount in Germany and Japan.

Few film adaptations have had as many false starts as Evita, which opened on Broadway September 25, 1979. At various times it was announced as a vehicle for Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep and other stars, and several scripts were written and passed over.

-- By Robert Viagas

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