VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Evita, 1979

By Megan Dekic
26 Jun 2014

VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Evita, 1979

The original Broadway run of Evita closed on this date 31 years ago. The Playbill Vault looks back at the musical's opening on the Great White Way.

Following a successful premiere in London's West End, Evita opened at the Broadway Theatre Sept. 25, 1979, to mixed reviews. New York Times critic Walter Kerr praised Harold Prince's direction, but claimed one would leave the theatre "wondering why the authors chose to write a musical about materials they were then going to develop so remotely, so thinly."

The musical defied mixed reviews and received 11 Tony Award nominations. Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin won Tonys for their roles as Eva Perón and Che Guevara, and Harold Prince won for Best Direction of a Musical. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice received Tonys for the score and book, and the show took home the top honor of Best Musical.

The production would go on to play 1,567 performances before closing June 26, 1983. The musical was revived on Broadway in 2012 with Elena Roger as Eva and Ricky Martin as Che.



Read the 1979 Evita Playbill in the Vault.

PHOTO SPECIAL: The Evita Files — Patti LuPone

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Patti LuPone
Photo by Martha Swope