#TBT: Elaine Paige Belts Out ‘Rainbow High’ on the SWET Awards (Now the Oliviers)

Video   #TBT: Elaine Paige Belts Out ‘Rainbow High’ on the SWET Awards (Now the Oliviers)
The star of the original London production of Evita performed the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice tune in 1978.

Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the original London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita, which opened in 1978 at the Prince Edward Theatre.

The original West End cast was headed by Elaine Paige in the title role with David Essex as Che and Joss Ackland as Peron. In the video above, Paige is joined by Gary Bond, who succeeded Essex, for a portion of “High Flying Adored”—leading into the rousing “Rainbow High.”

This performance is from the 1978 SWET Awards (Society of West End Theatres); the awards were later renamed the Olivier Awards.

When Evita came to Broadway in 1979, the leading role was played by Patti LuPone, who won a Tony for her performance. Olivier winner Paige made her Broadway debut years later in the original Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard, succeeding Betty Buckley in the role of Norma Desmond. The London theatre favorite was last seen on the New York stage in the acclaimed revival of Follies.


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