After one year in preparation, the eagerly awaited Mexican revival of Evita will finally light up the stage of the Teatro Silvia Pinal Dec. 18 (previews began Dec 11). The show was originally scheduled to open in August but due to set and technical difficulties it was postponed first to October and then to early December.
Larry Fuller, who choreographed the London and Broadway productions, is directing and choreographing this production, based on Harold Prince's original staging. The original Mexican production of Evita was directed by Prince, and opened June 22, 1981 at the Teatro Ferrocarrilero, for a one-and-a-half year run.
Rocio Banquells, star of the 1981 Mexican production, will recreate her performance as Eva Peron. Banquells also starred in the Mexican production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes in 1986, and in 1992 she recorded the CD "Un Sueno Alguna Vez Sone" ("I Dreamed a Dream") which featured songs in Spanish from Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Camelot, La Cage Aux Folles, A Little Night Music, Cats and other shows.
A cast recording of the 1997 Evita revival will be recorded late January. In the meanwhile, Banquells' version of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" ("No Llores por Mi Argentina") can be found on her CD "Un Sueno Alguna Vez Sone" which was recently reissued to celebrate Banquells' return to the stage.
Also starring in this revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's legendary musical are Luis Gatica (The Fantasticks, La Cage Aux Folles) as Che, Jose Lavat as Peron, Perla Aguilar as Peron's Mistress and Sergio Acosta as Magaldi. Designing Evita are Chris Nass, Tim O'Brien and Tazeena Firth (Sets), Nuria Marroqui (Costumes), Richard Winckler (Lights) and Abe Jacob (Sound). The musical director is Jorge Neri, while Marco Villafan has adapted Tim Rice's lyrics into Spanish.
Producer Jorge Berlanga told Playbill On-Line that he is planning to take this revival of Evita on tour to South & North America after completing a 10-month run in Mexico City. Dates and cities for the tour will be announced early 1998.
Produced by Banquells and Berlanga, Evita will play Thurs. and Fri. at 8:30 PM, Sat. at 5:30 & 8:30 PM and Sun. at 5:30 PM. The Teatro Silvia Pinal is located in Yucatan #150, Colonia Roma, Mexico City. Tickets ($250-$200 Mexican Pesos) are available from Ticketmaster Mexico at (52-5) 325-9000.
--By Claudio Carrera