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Evita New York


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#31 The Scorpion

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:31 AM

View PostTitan, on 25 August 2012 - 10:57 AM, said:

Unless the west end production had ricky Martin in (or similar) nothing could have saved it. It's his casting that is making the NYC show the money maker it is

This is true for Broadway -- I can't see the show surviving there without him. But I don't think a star name was necessary to make the show financially successful in London, where the market is different. The show had more than enough to be a sure-fire hit: rave reviews all round, an iconic history, a first-rate creative team... Attendance was actually rather good when Elena Roger performed; unfortunately the reviews praising her seemed to backfire on the production as the theatre was near on empty when the alternate was on, which isn't enough to keep the show running if the alternate does 2 performances a week. That plus there was really very little promotion for it; all of RUG's attention went on Sound of Music. Many people who attended in the final weeks told me they had no idea the show was even on!

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I actually preferred the Kenwright tour to the underwhelming and poorly directed Adelphi version.

To each his own; the second-rate cast, 7-piece orchestra with backing tracks, mimed songs ('Buenos Aires') and cannibalising of other people's direction without credit didn't sit well with me.

#32 Titan

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:37 AM

I wouldn't call Louise dearman or rachel Wooding second rate at all. As for stealing others direction, I preferred that to the lazy and boring direction at the Adelphi.

Evita was discounting for a good while on all shows, even with Elena on so it wasn't just the alternate shows that were an issue

#33 Jamie Kenny

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

Why do people think the Adelphi production was "poorly directed"?

#34 Doogie Hoser

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

I saw the Adelphi version and the New York version, both directed by Grandage.  I thought London was an excellent reinterpretation.  

I was entirely disappointed in New York, where it just seemed flat.  Elena's thorough and I think it's well established she's very talented, but she seemed a bit off to me.  It wasn't quite the same triple threat I remembered.  No doubt she'll shine in something else quite soon.

Ricky Martin seems to only be singing frequently rhyming words. I got no impression he actually understands what he's on about, though no denying he smiles beautifully and is very tall and lean.  

Everyone's ooing and ahing about Michael Cerveris but to me he was just another one note bit part Peron... I totally don't get it. In retrospect maybe Quast didn't do much with the part either - it's pretty utility, really - but he's just such an enormous presence - literally - I thought he kicked it out of the park.  

I will say the New York company is in excellent voice.  

I got the feeling most of the audience were there that night for a Ricky Martin concert with one costume.  If New York continues to star stunt cast a part or two it can probably run indefinitely.  Lea Michelle is Evita!

In the end, maybe Evita is a musical for which the time has passed.  Something in the day, but not meant to be revived perpetually.  Or maybe it's not the right tenor for the times.  It isn't a fun musical and there's really nobody to root for if you can't get your head around rooting for the bad girl. It isn't a simple story with a feel good narrative or redemption before the curtain falls.

Anyway I thought New York was adequate but if the New York mounting had run in London I can't imagine it would be doing any better.  The show is one of my favourites, I just wonder if its time has passed?

#35 Matthew Winn

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:41 PM

View PostJamie Kenny, on 26 August 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

Why do people think the Adelphi production was "poorly directed"?

I'm baffled by that comment too. The Adelphi production was among the best productions of anything I've ever seen, and there wasn't a weak point in it. In contrast, I found the tour rather lacking in vibrancy.
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#36 Titan

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:46 PM

For me things like rainbow high/tour were very flat, which I don't think were helped by the static set. Some of it was a bit hammy, for example perons pleading hands when Eva collapses. Although that could have been actors choice. I'd never seen evita prior to the London revival and was so disappointed with what was so flat and unexciting (excluding some scenes such as buenos aires). Elena I didn't see what all the fuss was about, thought matt rawle was great though.

The tour was flawed, don't get me wrong, but I enjoyed it more than the London production.

#37 The Scorpion

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 02:55 AM

View PostTitan, on 26 August 2012 - 02:46 PM, said:

For me things like rainbow high/tour were very flat, which I don't think were helped by the static set. Some of it was a bit hammy, for example perons pleading hands when Eva collapses. Although that could have been actors choice. I'd never seen evita prior to the London revival and was so disappointed with what was so flat and unexciting (excluding some scenes such as buenos aires). Elena I didn't see what all the fuss was about, thought matt rawle was great though.

The tour was flawed, don't get me wrong, but I enjoyed it more than the London production.

To be fair your reservations about the "static set" (I never understand why audience members need the set to do something to be entertained; in the original production there wasn't even a set as such to speak of!) were addressed on Broadway. I will agree that Rainbow Tour was flagging a bit in London, although that was a problematic number in the original too, but it has been dressed up very well on Broadway.

I think Elena was and is terrific and thoroughly deserved the unanimous raves she got. Pity New York hasn't embraced her in the same way.

I don't think the Adelphi production was 100% perfect, but I must agree with the other posters (and indeed the London critics) that it was excellent. It got the best reviews ALW and Tim Rice have ever received for anything they've done and I do think it could have had a longer run if it had had better producers (i.e. not RUG). Cameron Mackintosh was originally going to produce but pulled out in 2005. With him behind it I reckon it would have had a good chance at selling as well in London as it is doing on Broadway. The Kenwright production wasn't terrible for Kenwright standards, but I continue to find it insulting that Kenwright degrades so many wonderful pieces with his cheap tat. And yes, I include his production of Evita in that.

Guess we'll have to disagree.

As for the idea that Evita's "time has passed", I don't think so, though it's certainly not quite in vogue at the moment. What goes around comes around. It's a dark, bleak show at heart and it's perhaps a difficult sell to a 2012 audience expecting spectacle, flash and happy clappy endings given the fact the show doesn't give a clear-cut view of its contradictory title character (IMHO one of its strength) and spends its last third chanting for the death of its leading lady whose husband's regime has left the country bankrupt.

Completely agree though that Ricky Martin doesn't have the foggiest re what he's singing on stage. He smiles a lot and that's kind of it. But I won't complain if it keeps the show running, I guess. It's sad that theatre's come to this, but oh well. Elena Roger's performance is probably affected as a result of having a weaker Che to play off, I think. I reckon part of the reason she came across a bit stronger in London was that her counterpart in Matt Rawle was sufficiently sardonic.

#38 Titan

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:29 AM

No your right, the set doesn't have to do anything, but that's when the direction needs to be more creative to help move the story along. I also felt it lacked bite, and was perhaps too kind to the history of Eva peron

As for reviews, ha always makes be laugh when people bring out reviews as an argument. It doesn't prove a point, just as me using the NYC negative reviews don't prove me right. They are opinions, that's all. They don't some how verify an  opinion. Word of mouth was mixed too. Better producing may have helped a little, but it discounted after 6 months and without a name it didn't stand a chance.

I think Evita suffered in timing too, serious shows are a difficult sell in difficult times. People want escapism, and even I as a theatre fan who tends to see most things have myself more keen to see upbeat shows. Look at ghost and blood brothers closing, and Sweeney Todd not being a sell out but SITR is.

#39 Showstopper

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:21 AM

Possible uk tour next year then westend.. Just a rumour I heard.

#40 Doogie Hoser

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:03 PM

The one thing I would say is I believe at this point Eva needs to be portrayed by somebody really special (which granted didn't translate in public perception from the West End to New York, because when I saw ER in London I thought it was a truly memorable performance.)  So whatever they do, if they bring it back to the West End, they've got to have somebody in the title role who can bring real.... dare I say... star quality (whatever the definition.)  Perhaps Rebecca Duvall is available... (you may not be that far into Smash over there to follow... but it will make sense in due course if you're watching.)  

And if not, Maggie Smith is Eva Peron has a nice ring to it.  Though somehow I think she's better suited to Che.




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