Is U.K. Evita Revival Broadway Bound?

News   Is U.K. Evita Revival Broadway Bound?
Will the current British revival of Evita — starring Argentine actress Elena Roger in the title role — make its way to Broadway?
Elena Roger in Evita
Elena Roger in Evita

The New York Post reports that the revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, which features what is arguably the composing duo's best score, is likely for a fall 2007 Broadway mounting. The New York daily says Lloyd Webber's production company, the Really Useful Group, is currently in the city checking out possible theatres, including the Neil Simon, which houses the Tony-winning musical Hairspray.

Although the revival, directed by Michael Grandage, received raves from most of the West End critics, it is actress Roger who has made the biggest splash, with many reviewers calling her performance a revelation. Actors' Equity would have to approve her Broadway bow, which seems likely. In fact, this past season featured a host of British actors on Broadway, many winning Tonys for their performances.

Evita officially opened at London's Adelphi Theatre June 21. Directed by Grandage with choreography by Rob Ashford, the brand-new staging of the award-winning musical marks the first major West End revival since the show debuted at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1978. That production, which was directed by Hal Prince, made a star out of its leading lady, Elaine Paige. Similarly, the eventual Broadway debut — in 1979 at the Broadway Theatre — brought fame and a Tony Award to its Evita, Patti LuPone, now back on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Sweeney Todd.

In addition to Roger, the current Evita company includes Philip Quast as Peron, Matt Rawle as Che, Lorna Want as the Mistress and Gary Milner as Magaldi. Abbie Osman is the alternate Eva.

Evita began life as a concept recording featuring Julie Covington in the title role. The focus of the musical is on Eva Peron's rise from her slum origins to the wife of Argentina's post-war nationalist leader Juan Peron, a position from which she held her people in thrall. Such was her power she became her country's unofficial vice-president and as she grew richer, her people's poverty deepened. She died of cancer at the age of 33. In her native Buenos Aires, Elena Roger appeared in productions of Nine, Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables and Saturday Night Fever. With director Valeria Ambrosio Roger devised and starred in the musical Mina, che cosa sei, which won her the ACE Award for Best Actress. Roger's television credits in Argentina include "Hombres de Honor," "Pensionados" and "El Sodero de mi Vida."

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Elena Roger and Company in <i>Evita</i>
Elena Roger and Company in Evita
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