Evita, the political 'Marilyn Monroe' opens in Melbourne - Noise11.com
Tina Arena EVITA photo Jeff Busby

Tina Arena EVITA photo Jeff Busby

Evita, the political ‘Marilyn Monroe’ opens in Melbourne

by Paul Cashmere on December 10, 2018

in News

The story of Eva Peron, as told by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, capsulizes the life of the Argentine first lady of the 40s and 50s, into two hours.

As Webber and Rice based their telling of the story on the book ‘Evita: The Woman and the Whip’, there are questions as to the accuracy of this account. But what the hey, it’s a musical. Many historians claim the book was told from the side of non-Peronism.

Webber and Rice weren’t exactly at the top of their game when they released the first ‘Evita’ album in 1976. They had just come off the back of the 1975 flop ‘Jeeves’ right after reinventing opera with the now classic ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Evita jumps back to the Superstar template to frame the Eva Peron story.

Like their main character in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Evita’ is portrayed as a saviour/superstar (and both characters die at 33 too). Webber would develop a partner with his characters that became evident from ‘JC Superstar’ to ‘Evita’ to ‘Cats’.

Musically, Evita is kept to the proven and successful formula of Jesus Christ Superstar. Webber and Rice use similar styles to give Evita the same musical dynamic that made Jesus Christ Superstar flow and a hit.

This new Australian production is all built around Tina Arena as Evita but it is Paulo Szot as Juan Perón and Kurt Kansley as Che who set-up the boundaries of the story for Arena to work.

Baritone Paulo Szot is a seasoned performer who started musical training at age five in Brazil and later studied in Poland. He then returned home to São Paulo to make his operatic debut in II Barbiere di Sivigila.

Kurt Kansley is also an experienced theatre performer who has been on stage in the West End and appeared in the recent Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar for The Production Company.

What Tina lacked as a ‘poperatic’ performer was carried by the more experienced Szot and Kansley. Having the key role of Eva Peron also gave Tina the best songs of the show and this was where she shone. The overacting was virtually ignored when the voice was singing ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, the focus song of this musical.

Eva Peron was like a pop star in Argentina. Her story is the classic rags to riches tale. She came from poverty to achieve one of the highest political positions in her country. She was a political Marilyn Monroe and like Monroe who also died in her 30s, ‘the candle burned out long before the legend ever did’.

On a scale of Andrew Lloyd Webber shows from ‘Jeeves’ to ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Evita definitely sits in the top half just behind ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ but well in front of ‘Cats’.

‘Evita’ is playing at The State Theatre, Melbourne Arts Centre, until February 17.

Follow Noise11 on Twitter for news as it happens

For news as it happens follow Noise11 on Facebook

Noise11.com

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Paul Stanley of Kiss photo by Ros O'Gorman
Kiss Expand ‘Destroyer’

The Kiss classic ‘Destroyer’ is about to be reissued as an expanded box set.

1 day ago
BB King Photo by Damien Loverso Bluesfest Byron Bay
B.B. King Would Have Been 96 This Week

16 September would have been B.B. King’s 96th birthday. B.B. King died in 2015 but his company continues. The B.B. King estate is working with Gibson guitars on a new series of B.B. King guitars.

2 days ago
David-Bowie-A-Reality-Tour-Concert.-Photo-by-Ros-OGorman
David Bowie Complete Catalogue Moves To Warner Music

The Warner Music Group and the Estate of David Bowie have signed a global deal to put the entire Bowie catalogue in the hands of the Warner group.

2 days ago
Rod Stewart - Photo By Ros O'Gorman
Rod Stewart Debuts New Song ‘One More Time’ Ahead of ‘The Tears Of Hercules’ Album

Rod Stewart will release his 31st album ‘The Tears of Hercules’ in November. His new song ‘One More Time’ is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.

3 days ago
Elton John and his Band perform in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Friday 11 December 2015. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Elton John Postpones Show To 2023

Elton John has postponed his upcoming tour in the U.K. and Europe so he can undergo an operation on his hip.

3 days ago
BJ Thomas
B.J. Thomas Personal Items On Sale For Fans

The Estate of B.J. Thomas is selling off his personal items for fans around the world.

4 days ago
Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones photo by Ros O'Gorman
The Rolling Stones Could Not Attend Charlie Watts Funeral

The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, were unable to attend the funeral of their drummer Charlie Watts due to Covid restrictions.

4 days ago