Juan, Singular Sensation: A Tour of Michael Cerveris' Peronist History Archive, Backstage at Evita

By Michael T. Luongo
13 Jan 2013

Michael Cerveris as Juan Peron in <i>Evita</i>.
Michael Cerveris as Juan Peron in Evita.
Photo by Richard Termine

Before the Broadway reign of Evita ends on Jan. 26, Michael Cerveris, who plays Juan Peron, gave Playbill a tour of his backstage collection of objects devoted to the Argentinean leader who married the iconic Eva.

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There's a calm sense the moment you step into Michael Cerveris' dressing room backstage at the Broadway's Marquis Theatre. The lighting is soft and golden. Incense burns on a ledge as tango music plays lullaby-low from an LP spinning on a portable record player.

"That I have had for years. That accompanies me to all my dressing rooms," Cerveris tells me pointing at the record player. He then motions to the floor, a stack of old Argentine records scattered in a small niche, "it's not easy to find old classic tango stuff in the United States."

Most of the records came from Argentina, ordered off of eBay, becoming part of what the Tony Award-winning actor calls, half-jokingly, "the best Peron research library in Manhattan."

Cerveris plays Juan Peron, the President of Argentina and husband of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, better known as Evita, in the new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita. He began to collect Peronist memorabilia when he went to Argentina to research his role and participate in a photo shoot with his co-stars, Elena Roger, who plays Eva and Ricky Martin, who stars as Che.

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