Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita

I’m a bit of a musical theatre nerd and Evita is one of my favourite shows (but TBH I don’t like Patti LuPone all that much- shock/horror! I think she’s too shrill even in the quieter moments). Anyway, I can sing nearly all the parts-- even the male ones-- from memory.

Right now I own the Original Studio Cast and movie soundtrack.

Any other Dopers share my love for this show?

Love the original cast recording with Julie Covington, but haven’t listened to it for a while, because I was so annoyed that they allowed someone like Madonna to play Evita and even worse, take “Another suitcase in another hall” and gave it to her to sing.

People will definitely disagree with me but IMO Madonna wasn’t that bad. I mean she’s pretty brash in that role, which suits it (and her). Probably didn’t hurt that many reviewers have drawn parallels between Eva’s life as depicted in the movie (and the original musical) and Madonna’s actual life, so in a way she was playing herself (or so some people think). Patti LuPone is a very good actress and singer but to me she just sounded too shrill from what Evita footage I’ve seen of her.

I hate when others simply post “I agree”, but in this case, I agree!

I’m not a huge Webber fan overall. I much prefer Sondheim, but I love Evita. Maybe it’s because of my overwhelming adoration for Mandy Patinkin. :slight_smile:

He’s pretty good, but I prefer Colm Wilkinson!

Oh yes. I’ve seen the touring play something like 6 times. I, too, can sing all the parts. I even rrrrroll my rrrrrrrrrs for all the Perrrrrron parrrrts.

I love the rrrrecurrrrring (sorry I’ll stop now) motifs, how the words and/or the music show up in different parts.

I have three versions: UK, US and current Elana Roger versions, however, I prefer the LuPone/Patinkin version to the UK cast recording, but also like the Roger version. I like the changes made for the US run of the show. The new song that Evita gets in the movie (You Must Love Me) is now part of the official play version.

Another Suitcase is a weird song-the singer is the only one in the entire play that Che treats with any respect. I wonder if the role is made for the prime Evita understudy, because it is such a good song, and we never see her again.

Oh what a circus, oh what a show…

Just who IS Che, anyway? El Che, or someone else? or both?* I know he’s the Greek chorus…
I have an unfinished first draft of a pulp novel version of Evita which transferred the story to a near-future steam punk fascist Cuba and where Che was a literal Guevara clone.

I have loved Evita since I was a child and I too have memorised the parts. Original London cast recording for me. I kind of love the film version - Antonio Banderas was great for me and, although I don’t really like Madonna, she does a good job. Agree about ‘Another Suitcase’, that annoyed me. I also stubbornly use the words and phrasing I know where they differ in the film version.

I’m also a huge JC Superstar fan, although the rest of Webber’s output leaves me cold as Christmas.

Ernestro “Che” Guevara.

It’s kind of gone back and forth whether Lloyd Webber and Rice really meant Che to be Guevara (or at least partially based on him) or not.

In recent years, they’ve claimed that their conception of Che was always meant to be an everyman figure (as in the movie). “Che”, in Argentinian, is kind of an all-purpose nickname like “buddy”. They claim it was Harold Prince’s staging that explicitly made him Guevara and that they wrote the line where Che describes having grown “from seventeen to twenty-four” watching the Perons destroy his beloved country. That was Guevara’s age range during Eva’s regime.

Then again, on the original concept album Che describes himself as a research chemist who’s working on a new kind of insecticide (which he isn’t able to market because he can’t get Eva’s endorsement–it’s an idiotic subplot which is the only flaw on an otherwise great album). That was, apparently, Guevara’s job in his youth, and he did experiment with insecticides (although why they thought that was appropriate for the show is anybody’s guess).

So, are ALW and Tim Rice telling the truth when they say they never meant Che to be Guevara and that it was Hal Prince’s idea? Or are they backpedaling now that many very brutal actions of Che Guevara’s have come to light and they don’t want their show associated with him?

Now, I like the movie a lot. I was never a fan of Madonna’s acting, but she actually came through quite well in it. In fact, during “Eva’s Final Broadcast” when her voice broke on “I’m Argentina…and always will be…” all I could think was “Damn, Madonna…if you could act all this time why didn’t you just SAY so?!”

And I have a soft spot for the original concept album since it was the first version of the show I ever listened to. Oh, it has its flaws…the disco-ish orchestrations of some parts and the aforementioned ridiculous insecticide subplot. But it has numerous strengths, too…especially the ending. The current stage ending always seemed a little clumsy to me…to end a sung-through musical on a spoken passage. It seemed like the equivalent of the “superimposed text” you see at the end of many biopics.

But the ending of the concept album…the full two-verse version of “Lament” with the sad flute quotation of “Eva, Beware of the City” between the two verses, the brass quote of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” to symbolize Eva’s final breaths…and then the eerie, echoing voices of the morticians singing to a minor-key reprise of the “Rainbow High” chorus…

…you know, you do NOT want to make the same mistake I did on the second hearing and listen to it late at night with the lights off.

You guys might be interested in the background notes from actor-director Scott Miller of St. Louis’ New Line Theatre.

“Oh, my insecticiiiiide!”

I LOVE the original concept album. Every other performance is wrong in some way.

Not responding to anyone in particular but in the 1930s there were a number of “fallen woman” or gold-digger movies where the poor but ambitious heroine climbs to a high social position to a series of affairs. I’ve always thought that at its heart “Evita” is one of those stories. It’s not even really about the real Eva, even though it uses her as a basis. It’s a modern “fallen woman” story.

Love Colm Wilkinson as Jean Valjean, hate hate hate Colm Wilkinson as Che.

It’s the LuPone/Patinkin recording for me!
I also own the original Madrid Cast Recording- and it’s in Spanish! By the time I picked up the Madrid recording, I already knew all the English language lyrics by heart so I can listen to the Madrid recording and it doesn’t matter that I understand very little Spanish. It’s an excellent cast recording. I recommend that every Evita fan check it out.

I liked the movie. It’s flawed but there’s more good than bad.

Huge ALW fan here. I think Evita is his best score.

My favorite English recording is the original–Covington and Wilkenson have never been bested. The absolute worst cast recording of any show ever is the Korean Evita. That translator should be shot.

Love the show.

One of those movies was The Easiest Way.

A couple of years ago, we saw a performance in Chicago at a small theatre called Theo-Ubique, with a cast of about 8. It was amazing, extremely intimate, brilliantly staged and marvelously sung and acted. We’ve seen several full-stage performances with cast of thousands (well, several dozen) and this out-shone them all.

I love Evita. Saw it in L.A. in 1980 with my dad, and immediately had to go buy the album which I proceeded to play until it practically wore out. I’ve got the whole thing memorized and, like Morwen Edhelwen, can sing all the parts almost from memory. I’ve seen it twice (the other time was in L.A. too, but I don’t remember when–it must have been fairly close to 1980). Both were the Patti LuPone/Mandy Patinkin shows.

I was bummed to find out that it was playing here in San Jose fairly recently, but it was only for a short time and I didn’t find out until after it had closed.

No comments on my pulp novel idea? :wink:

Is the concept album still available? I never have heard of it till now.

Love the original Broadway album, enjoyed the Madonna movie, think she’s a bitch for not letting someone else have that ONE SONG & for demanding to get her own song in & accusing the resistance to it being “misogynous”, although that song was pretty good.

Btw, the TV biopic of Eva with Faye Dunaway gave a much more realistic view of the girl Eva Peron ousted. Peron was quite the perve.