A Moving Night at the Theater with Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita"
One of the most lauded and powerful
musicals of the last half century, "Evita," written by British composer/lyricist Andrew Lloyd Webber and book writer Tim Rice,
relates the story of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, from her rise to power to her death. The musical, considered a
rock opera, chronicles Peron's life from the time of her impoverished childhood to her marriage to the country's president,
Juan Peron, to her ultimate position as one of the country's most influential political figures and humanitarians.
Depicting some of the world's most famous and powerful figures isn't easy, and luckily, the cast of "Evita" in Cincinatti
includes some of the most top-notch theatrical performers. Caroline Bowman, who once starred in "Kinky Boots" and "Wicked"
on Broadway, headlines as Evita. Alongside her will be Josh Young, who recently played Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar,"
as Che. Sean MacLaughlin, who was recently on Broadway in "The Phantom of the Opera," will be starring as Juan Peron.
Christopher Johnstone will be playing Magaldi.
It's no surprise that the writers of such a
large, powerful and moving musical are legends in themselves. Andrew Lloyd Webber made a name for himself in the '70s for
radically revolutionizing the musical theater industry. Webber, who's from the UK, became famous for taking a quintessentially
American musical and redefining it for the British and international market. Some of Webber's most famous work includes the
"The Phantom of the Opera," "Cats," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and more. Alongside Webber, Tim Rice wrote the book and some
lyrics for the show. Also a UK-based artist, Rice is known for writing the lyrics to a slew of pop and musical theater songs.
Rice collaborated with Webber on such shows as "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and
"The Likes of Us."
The all-star team behind "Evita" made it possible for the show to come to Broadway,
then travel across the world for audiences to see. Headlining the team of producers is The Really Useful Group, a company
that has produced a slew of hits, including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Cats." Other producers on the project include Hal
Luftig, Troika Entertainment, Randall A. Buck, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Anthony Nicholson, Tom & Connie
Walsh, Roy Furman and many more.
"Evita" is known for relating a real-life tale - but just how real
is it? In reality, Webber and Rice based their show on a specific biography of Eva Peron, "Evita: The Woman with the Whip,"
written by Mary Main. After the show was produced, several authors came forward to produce a more toned-down version of her
story, claiming that some of the assertions included in the musical were not true. In 1996, an Argentinian film about Eva
Peron, "Eva Peron: The True Story," was released. This film claims to correct the mistakes of Webber, Main and other biographers.
Tony-Award winning "Evita" makes its way to Cincinnati for the first time in years in Februray. The show, which is about two
hours and 15 minutes long, will be playing at the Aronoff Center, in Procter & Gamble Hall. From there, only time will
tell how long the run continues!