26 Jun 2014
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.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.