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.