Broadway Theatre, (9/25/1979 - 6/26/1983)

First Preview: Sep 10, 1979
Opening Date: Sep 25, 1979
Closing Date: Jun 26, 1983
Total Previews: 17
Total Performances: 1567

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Setting: Argentina.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President)

Produced by Robert Stigwood; Produced in association with David Land

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Tim Rice; Musical Director: Rene Wiegert; Music orchestrated by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Hershy Kay; Book by Tim Rice

Directed by Harold Prince; Choreographed by Larry Fuller

Scenic Design by Timothy O'Brien and Tazeena Firth; Costume Design by Timothy O'Brien and Tazeena Firth; Projection Design by Timothy O'Brien and Tazeena Firth; Lighting Design by David Hersey; Sound Design by Abe Jacob; Make-Up Design by Richard Allen; Hair Design by Richard Allen

Executive Producer: R. Tyler Gatchell, Jr. and Peter Neufeld; General Manager: Howard Haines; Company Manager: John Caruso

Production Stage Manager: George Martin; Stage Manager: John Grigas

Music Contractor: Paul Gemignani; Music Preparation: Chelsea Music Services, Inc., Mathilde Pincus and Al Miller

General Press Representative: Mary Bryant; Casting: Joanna Merlin; Dance Captain: Carlos Gorbea; Photographer: Martha Swope; Advertising: Serino, Coyne & Nappi; Press Representative: Patt Dale

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Opening Night Cast

Bob GuntonPerón
Patti LuPoneEva Perón
Mandy PatinkinChe
Terri Klausner
Wednesday and Saturday matinees
Eva Perón
Alternate
Person of Argentina
Jane OhringerPerón's Mistress
Mark SyersMagaldi
Seda AzarianPerson of Argentina
Dennis BirchallPerson of Argentina
Peppi BorzaPerson of Argentina
Tom CarderPerson of Argentina
Robin CleaverPerson of Argentina
Anny De GangePerson of Argentina
Mark EastPerson of Argentina
Megan ForsteChild
Bridget FrancisChild
Nicole FrancisChild
Teri GillPerson of Argentina
Carlos GorbeaPerson of Argentina
Pat GormanPerson of Argentina
Rex David HaysPerson of Argentina
Michael LichtefeldPerson of Argentina
Carol LugenbealPerson of Argentina
Paula LynnPerson of Argentina
Morgan MacKayPerson of Argentina
Peter MarinosPerson of Argentina
Sal MistrettaPerson of Argentina
Jack NeubeckPerson of Argentina
Marcia O'BrienPerson of Argentina
Nancy OpelPerson of Argentina
Michael PastrykChild
Davia SacksPerson of Argentina
James SbanoPerson of Argentina
David StallerPerson of Argentina
Michelle StubbsPerson of Argentina
Robert TannaPerson of Argentina
Clarence TeetersPerson of Argentina
Susan TerryPerson of Argentina
Phillip TracyPerson of Argentina
David VosburghPerson of Argentina
Mark WaldropPerson of Argentina
Sandra WheelerPerson of Argentina
Brad WitsgerPerson of Argentina
John Leslie WolfePerson of Argentina
Nancy WoodPerson of Argentina
Christopher WootenChild
John YostPerson of Argentina

Understudies: Tom Carder (Che), Rex David Hays (Perón), Sal Mistretta (Magaldi), Nancy Opel (Eva Perón) and Nancy Wood (Perón's Mistress)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

winner 1980 Best Musical [winner] 

Produced by Robert Stigwood

winner 1980 Best Book of a Musical [winner] 

Book by Tim Rice

winner 1980 Best Original Score [winner] 

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Tim Rice

winner 1980 Best Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Patti LuPone

winner 1980 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [winner] 

Mandy Patinkin

 1980 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Bob Gunton

 1980 Best Scenic Design [nominee] 

Timothy O'Brien

 1980 Best Scenic Design [nominee] 

Tazeena Firth

 1980 Best Costume Design [nominee] 

Timothy O'Brien

 1980 Best Costume Design [nominee] 

Tazeena Firth

winner 1980 Best Lighting Design [winner] 

David Hersey

 1980 Best Choreography [nominee] 

Larry Fuller

winner 1980 Best Direction of a Musical [winner] 

Harold Prince

Drama Desk Award

winner 1980 Outstanding Musical [winner] 

Produced by Robert Stigwood

 1980 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Mandy Patinkin

winner 1980 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Patti LuPone

winner 1980 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [winner] 

Bob Gunton

 1980 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Larry Fuller

winner 1980 Outstanding Director of a Musical [winner] 

Harold Prince

winner 1980 Outstanding Lyrics [winner] 

Lyrics by Tim Rice

winner 1980 Outstanding Music [winner] 

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

 1980 Outstanding Costume Design [nominee] 

Timothy O'Brien

 1980 Outstanding Costume Design [nominee] 

Tazeena Firth

 1980 Outstanding Lighting Design [nominee] 

David Hersey

Songs

music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Tim Rice

ACT 1 Sung By
A Cinema in Buenos Aires; July 26, 1952Company
Requiem for EvitaCompany
Oh What a CircusChe and Company
On This Night of a Thousand StarsMagaldi
Eva Beware of the CityMagaldi, Eva Perón and Family
Buenos AiresEva Perón and Dancers
Goodnight and Thank YouChe, Eva Perón and Lovers
The Art of the PossiblePerón, Eva Perón and Colonels
Charity ConcertCompany
I'd Be Surprisingly Good for YouEva Perón and Perón
Another Suitcase in Another HallPerón's Mistress
Perón's Latest FlameChe, Eva Perón and Company
A New ArgentinaEva Perón, Perón, Che and Company
ACT 2 Sung By
On the Balcony of the Casa RosadaPerón, Che and Company
Don't Cry for Me ArgentinaEva Perón
High Flying AdoredChe and Eva Perón
Rainbow HighEva Perón and Dressers
Rainbow TourChe, Eva Perón, Perón and Peronists
The Actress Hasn't Learned (the Lines You'd Like to Hear)Eva Perón, Che and Company
And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out)Che and Company
Santa EvitaChildren and Workers
Waltz for Eva and CheEva Perón and Che
She is a DiamondPerón and Officers
Dice Are RollingPerón and Eva Perón
Eva's Final BroadcastEva Perón and Che
MontageCompany
LamentEva Perón and Che

Reviews


New York Daily News: "'Evita' equals empty and is vulgar to boot"

There's a great big gap in the middle of "Evita," last night's pop opera at the Broadway, and the name of the gap is Evita, the popular nickname for Eva Duarte Peron. For that matter, there's not much around the gap, either.

This new work by the creators of "Jesus Christ Superstar" - the score is Andrew Lloyd Webber's, the libretto Tim Rice's - is as spectacularly vulgar, in its way, as its predecessor, but whereas the earlier piece was exhilarating, the new one is dispiriting, and even pointless.

It is, as you probably know by now, an attempt to relate in musical terms the story of the rise and decline of the quick-witted Argentine gamine who found fame and astonishing political power in bed before succumbing to cancer at 33 in 1952 and becoming an adored legend in the minds of her country's masses. The evening opens and closes with her death.

Although it is an exceedingly smart production, interesting to look at and abounding in clever staging touches, it has several fatal flaws. First off, the Evita we see and hear is as commonplace as an untalented starlet who hungers for success. Evita, of course, gained it. But the greedy, power-mad and self-centered national heroine we are presented with, a figure who is intended to fascinate and repel us at the same time, is a lackluster one who induces only boredom.

To create some kind of balance and not allow Evita to bewitch us (and why not?) as she did her followers, the fatigues-clad, cigar-wielding, beret-topped and incongruous figure of Che Guevara has been introduced to offset her influence. Made much stronger here, both in the rewriting and the playing, than in the tremendously successful London production, Che, as narrator and occasional participant (there's even an Evita-Che waltz), produces the evening's only real excitement, due in no small part to Mandy Patinkin's vigorous performance, which calls to mind Ben Vereen's dynamic Judas in "Superstar." It is, however, an unsound notion dramatically, for in counterbalancing Evita's role, and thereby detracting from it, it leaves us in midair. The two never met, of course, the only excuse for Che's appearance being the fact that he was an Argentinian student at the time of her sway.

Lloyd Webber's score, while melodic and musically literate, is rather staid, and in spite of its concessions to South American rhythms, it is about as Latin as a steak-and-kidney pie. It consists entirely of set pieces (there is no spoken dialogue), and its stiffness is at least partly due to Rice's plodding lyrics ("although she's dressed to the nines, at sixes and sevens with us..." and "the people, they need to adore me, so Christian Dior me" or "I'm their savior, that's what they call me, so Lauren Bacall me.")

Patti LuPone, as the young woman who appears to practically force a reluctant Juan Peron into assuming his country's leadership, is a somewhat colorless Evita. Her voice, basically a mezzo, is heard to best advantage in the middle and lower registers but becomes strident in the part's upper range, often rendering words unintelligible. Hers is the show's plug song, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," which seems to be used more often here than in the London version, and she presents it quite well in a scene in which the splendidly gowned Evita addresses the rapt masses below from a catwalk.

Bob Gunton artfully brings a light baritone to bear on the bland role of Peorn. Aside from Che, these three are the only parts of consequence. The brief roles of Peron's mistress (Jane Ohringer sings appealingly "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" after our girl arrives to displace her) and a night-club tenor-guitarist on whose slick presence Evita rides to Buenos Aires (Mark Syers is effective here in an amusingly corny ballad entitled "On This Night of a Thousand Stars") complete the small list of principals. The chorus, representing the Argentine masses, is excellent, especially in the jingoistic "A New Argentina."

Harold Prince's direction and Larry Fuller's choreography are inventive and beautifully balanced, so that it is often difficult to tell where one begins and the other leaves off (the two also collaborated in "Sweeney Todd"). Two of Prince's most adroit devices are the revolving door through which Evita's increasingly important Buenos Aires lovers pass in rapid succession, and the game of musical chairs by means of which Peron outwits his fellow officers.

In an effort to lend force and credibility to the paltry story taking place on stage, a large movie screen frequently dominates the scene with portrait photos and old newsreel clips (moving ones, stills and slowed-down sequences) showing Evita's smiling public appearances before the tumultuous crowds, and the Perons' mixed and increasingly sour reception during an aborted European tour.

These, the stage sets and the flamboyant poster art depicting the Argentine masses on the act curtain, the ceiling above it and the walls alongside the proscenium, are the vivid and exemplary work of the British designing team of Timothy O'Brien and Tazeena Firth. The lighting, extremely effective, is the work of David Hersey.

A great deal of fine talent and energy have been expended, but "Evita" is a dud. Maybe "Che"?


New York Daily News
09/26/1979

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Broadway Theatre

(9/25/1979 - 6/26/1983)
Musical Director: Paul Gemignani, Jack Gaughan(1981 - Jun 26, 1983).

Assistant Stage Mgr: Kenneth W. Urmston; Production Stage Manager: John Grigas; Stage Manager: Beverley Randolph; Assistant Stage Mgr: John-David Wilder; Stage Manager: Brenna Krupa.

Dance Captain: Kenneth W. Urmston; Advertising: Jon Wilner.

Cast

Loni Ackerman
Eva Perón
Derin Altay
Broadway debut
Eva Perón
Tammy Amerson
Child
Claudia Asbury
Person of Argentina
Pamela Blake
Wednesday and Saturday matinees
Eva Perón Alternate
Susan Cella
Person of Argentina
Anthony Crivello
Che
Frank Cruz
Person of Argentina
David Cryer
Perón
Kim Darwin
Person of Argentina
Patti D'Beck
Person of Argentina (Dec 1982 - Jun 26, 1983)
Al DeCristo
Person of Argentina
Scott Fless
Person of Argentina
Robert Frisch
Perón
Person of Argentina
Carole Garcia
Person of Argentina
Lilo Grunwald
Child
Michael Hayward-Jones
Person of Argentina
Robert Heitzinger
Person of Argentina
Robert Hendersen
Person of Argentina
John Herrera
Person of Argentina
Colette Sena Heyman
Child
Ken Hilliard
Person of Argentina
Scott Holmes
Che
Cynthia Hunt
Broadway debut
Perón's Mistress
Keith Keen
Person of Argentina
Florence Lacey
Eva Perón
Robert Logan
Person of Argentina
Peter Marinos
Magaldi (Jun 16, 1980 - ?)
Jack Neubeck
Perón
Amy Niles
Perón's Mistress
Person of Argentina
Joanie O'Neill
Person of Argentina
Nancy Opel
Wednesday and Saturday matinees
Eva Perón Alternate
Dawn Perry
Person of Argentina
Martie Ramm
Person of Argentina
Cassie Rand
Person of Argentina
Morgan Richardson
Person of Argentina
Drusilla Ross
Person of Argentina
James Sbano
Che
James Stein
Che
Wilfredo Suarez
Person of Argentina
Claude Tessier
Person of Argentina
Leslie Tinnaro
Person of Argentina
Ian Michael Towers
Person of Argentina
Kenneth W. Urmston
Person of Argentina
James Whitson
Broadway debut
Magaldi

Understudies: Susan Cella (Eva Perón), Al DeCristo (Che), Robert Frisch (Perón), John Herrera (Che), Jack Neubeck (Magaldi), Amy Niles (Perón's Mistress), James Sbano (Che).


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