Written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (1978)
Evita, one of the world's greatest musicals, returns to London's West End after 21 years from 2 June 2006 to 26th May 2007
Link to official Really Useful Theatre Compant Evita site
The Big Interview: Philip Quast and Matt Rawle, August 2006 London Theatre Guide
Q&A: Philip Quast. Interview with Mark Shenton, 10 August 2006, Theatre.Corn
Showpeople: Philip Quast. Interviw with Susan Elkin, 3 August 2006, The Stage.
Pictures of Final Bows
Dress Circle Pictures
Previews: 2nd June 2006, opens 21st June 2006.
Performances Evenings: Adelphi Theatre Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm (21st June 2006 at 7.00pm) Matinees: Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm
Duration: 2hrs 20mins
Booking period: 2 June 2006 -28 April 2007 up to now. Ticket price £ 15.00- £ 55.00
Merchanidising: Really Useful Website
Eva Peron used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. She won international acclaim and adoration from her own people as a champion of the poor, whilst glamour, power and greed made her the world's first major political celebrity.
With its multi award winning production team and hot new orchestration Evita the Musical tells her passionate and tragic story through Andrew Lloyd Webber's most dazzling score and Tim Rice's most famous lyrics, including 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall' and 'High Flying Adored', together with the Oscar winning song from the film of Evita, 'You Must Love Me'.
- Produced by Andre Ptaszynski (for The Really Useful Theatre Company)
- Directed by Michael Grandage
- Music Supervisor: Simon Lee
- Choreographer: Rob Ashford
- Set Designer: Christopher Oram
- Lighting: Paule Constable
- Sound: Mick Potter
- Philip Quast - Peron
- Elena Roger - Eva
- Matt Rawle- Che
- Abbie Osom - Alternative Alternative Evita/Ensemble
- Gary Milner - Magaldi/Ensemble
- Lorna Want - Mistress/Ensemble
- Elisabeth Baron, Paul Basleigh, Leila Benn Harris, Stephanie Bron, Greg Castiglioni, Dean Chisnall, John Clarke, Kevein Curtin, Ashley Day, Emma Harris, Mark Heenehan, Jodie Jacobs, Halcro Johnston, Pip Jordan, Jackie Marks, Kirsty Mather, Tim Morgan, Aoife Nally, Grant Neal, Stuart Neal, Robyn North, Adam Pearce, Mark Powell, Fiona Reyes, Sarah Ryan
- Madeline Castrey, Carlotta Saxton, Tanyel Hassan
In 1934 young Eva comes to Buenos Aires. Her ultimate goal: She wants to make a name of herself with whatever means necessary. Usually she tries to move up the ladder with the help of very carefully selected lovers, lovers who have the right kind of power or know other such people.
That is how she gets acquainted with Juan Peron - a military leader driven by the lust for power. Together they envision a new administration with Juan as the head of state; an administration with the power to lead its people out of their misery.
As chance would have it they successfully come into power, but Juan Peron's style of leadership does have its drawbacks. Some European Countries having just succeeded in defeating National Socialism oppose him strongly.
Eva meanwhile is encountering some opposition too: Trying to make an impact on welfare organisations she is brutally rebuffed. Against all odds she keeps her eyes set on her ultimate goal and sets out to establish a welfare organisation of her own. Her approach stirs the hearts of the people. Soon thereafter she encounters difficulties far more serious - a lethal sickness.
The Big Interview: Philip Quast and Matt Rawle, August 2006 London Theatre Guide
In a year that promises to be a boon time for fans of musical theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rices Evita is among the first of the eagerly awaited musicals to open. The vastly experienced Philip Quast and youthful Matt Rawle play the leading roles of Argentinean leader Juan Perón and narrator Che in this new production. Matthew Amer catches up with the pair at the Adelphi, where they are relaxing in the cool surroundings of their rather large dressing rooms, and drags them away from perusing an interview with Hollywoods Lindsay Lohan for a rather frank interview of their own
Philip: Its a big leap, going from having a day life to suddenly having an evening life, says current Juan Perón, Philip Quast. In the back of your mind all day you know youve got to go to work; you cant drink, you cant talk too much, youre watching the clock. Theres a sort of tiredness that comes just from that adrenalin being there all the time. Co-star Matt Rawle, who plays narrator Che, agrees: Its all consuming. "He was a big man, not as big as I am probably, although hes a bit fatter"
Quast and Rawle are just getting accustomed to the change in tempo of their lives that comes with working on a major West End musical. For eight weeks before the opening performance they were rehearsing, then checking technicalities, before entering the preview period and finally facing the press. It is only now, at the end of this preparation process, that they can settle into a routine of working towards an evening performance each day apart from matinees, of course and they are enjoying finding their rhythm. Quast is slightly irked by the time of year that they have chosen to hit their stride, though; the summer sun is waking him early in the day and robbing him of his sleep.
Evita is one of the most eagerly awaited revivals to be staged in the West End in recent years. Such was the popularity of the 1978 original, which starred Elaine Paige as Argentinas first lady Eva Per n, that it enjoyed a seven-year run before spawning a feature film in which Madonna took the title role.
Rawle is certainly aware of the weight of history behind the production.
I didnt feel too much pressure about the part, he explains. I did feel pressure that the production might not match peoples expectations and it probably hasnt in some terms, but I think if youre coming fresh to the show, which a lot of people are, I think theyll absolutely love it.
Quast, whose striking build and frank nature can be unintentionally intimidating, shares Rawles view that some who remember the original may be surprised by this production, though he is more sceptical about how defining the 1978 production was. He likens Evitas history to an old television show which is fabulous when you watch it at the time, but when it is repeated 20 years later, the clothes, the hair, the dialogue just dont seem to ring true.
The 2006 production, Quast and Rawle explain, is very different in style to the original. Rawle uses words such as naturalistic and domestic to describe this production, in which much of the elaborate scenery has been stripped away to focus more on the central relationship between the Peróns. Rawles narrator has also changed since Hal Princes production: Im not playing Che Guevara. I havent got a beret on. Im playing a man of the street; a man who reads The Mirror, says Rawle. The adjustment in Rawles Che gives him more scope to step in and out of the action, driving the musical forward, as he is not tied to a historical character.
"If people like what you do then great, if they dont then so what" There has also been no sentiment shown about cutting the musical to fit the new production. When, as Quast explains, eight superfluous bars of music were found that confounded many of the cast and crew as to their purpose, Lloyd Webber was happy to cut them. It turns out that the extra music was most likely added to cover for a lengthy scene change in the original.
This paring down to focus the plot and direction of the production has affected the pace of the show. Quast describes the performance as a series of sprints, not a marathon. It hits its pace from the moment you [Rawle] start.
Elena Roger and Philip Quast:
Many of the plaudits surrounding the new Evita have gone to diminutive Argentinean star Elena Roger, who travelled from her South American home to audition for the role and subsequently won over the production team. She has also won over her co-stars:
Rawle: Shes a fantastic woman. Were both big fans. Shes wonderful.
Quast: No pretensions. Honest. Just really hard working.
Rawle: And great.
Interestingly, Roger has a tiny frame, while Quast has a build that would scare you if he stepped out of the shadows. Though he does not think there is any problem with this dramatically and Rawle thinks it adds an intriguing dynamic to the Peróns relationship Quast does seem a little defensive when broaching the subject: Perón had a penchant for young girls, dont forget, he argues. He had a 15-year-old as a mistress, who Eva kicked out. He was a big man, not as big as I am probably, although Ive seen some photos and hes a bit fatter.
Quast and Rawle chat in Rawles spacious and very white dressing room. Rawles near perfect teeth contrast with his chinful of stubble and tousled hair, while Quast cuts an imposing figure, even in shorts and a t-shirt. While Rawle is laid back, almost literally, Quast, though equally amiable, has a presence that suggests you shouldnt cross him. Both Australian Quast and Northerner Rawle are forthright in their views which Quast believes, when combined with the Latin spirit of a South American leading lady, gives the central roles a sort of front-footedness that wouldnt necessarily be there; a bit more fire. It also means that Quast and Rawle arent afraid to speak their minds.
Matt Rawle as 'man of the street' Che:
For me, if people like what you do then great, if they dont then so f***ing what; I dont want to hear about it, exclaims Rawle about receiving acclaim and awards. Not everyone is going to enjoy what you do. Im not interested in anything negative unless its from someone I really love and I ask them their opinion. In this business so many people want to give you their opinion and, Im sorry, Im not interested unless I ask for it.
As long as your peers respect you, thats fine, Quast follows on in support. If they cant say anything good, then f**k off.
Criticism and the weight of expectation sit heavy with the Evita co-stars. Its too hard, says Quast of performing and worrying about acclaim. Weve got to make a living. Not only are we competing just for work now, were competing against the whole thing of celebrity. Anyone can do what we do it seems now and sometimes they can. I just want to make a living. I make no judgements about what anyone does any more. I did a Holby City this year and I was amazed when I went to read for it that actors who I idolised were coming in to read for a part that had eight lines.
As both have performed in musicals before, Quast and Rawle know the pitfalls that await them should they let their concentration and performance levels drop. Youve got to try and invent ways of making it interesting, explains Quast, a challenge day after day, after day, after day, because a musical is like nothing else. Its not like a play, where you can free it up, move it around and just have a little bit of fun. Youre set by the conductor and the baton and the music and all these other people and the choreography, and you cant deviate. This, of course, has not stopped Quast from taking musical parts throughout his career. All three of his Laurence Olivier Awards the most held by any actor bar Judi Dench and Ian McKellen have come for performances in musicals; South Pacific in 2002, The Fix in 1998 and Sunday In The Park With George in 1991. I dont regard myself as doing musicals that often, Quast protests, but if good acting, singing roles come along then youre not going to knock them because they are hard to do and they are a real challenge.
"I think critics sit there in an elitist way with their arms folded" Theres a lot of money to be made in these big commercial shows, Rawle adds, whereas at the National the money is not so great, or the RSC. Quast agrees: If this runs and does well for the year that were contracted, I can save money to do other interesting things.
Philip Quast as Argentinean leader Juan Perón:
With Wicked, Spamalot, Cabaret, Daddy Cool and The Sound Of Music all due in the West End later in the year, along with the recent opening of Avenue Q and the transfers of The Rocky Horror Show and Sunday In The Park With George, there is a lot of choice for the West Ends musical theatre fans. Quast and Rawle are hoping that all the shows do well.
Rawle: Its in everybodys interests that the show is a success, just as the show next door, just as the show next door to that.
Quast: It knocks on. If somethings a turkey, people get a little bit reticent and will go I went to see that and it wasnt good, so Im not sure If someone comes and has a really good time at Avenue Q or Spamalot theyll go Oh, I think Ill go and see Evita now.
Rawle: I dont know whether theres enough business to go round everybody, there might well not be, in which case you can get a copy of the Big Issue from me on the corner.
The last word, before the pair has to prepare for Evitas evening performance, goes to Quast, and this time it is the critics on the receiving end: The same critics that write for musical theatre also go to plays, and they tend to be a bit jaded, after 30 years, about emotions. I think they sit there in an elitist way with their arms folded when they go to a musical, and they see the proletariat crying and being moved, and they sit there in a supreme way, slightly superior. They believe that language and theatre is the elite thing for the intellectual. But you can do both, theres nothing wrong with going and seeing a musical, having a good old weep and being moved by it.
Q&A: Philip Quast.
Interview with Mark Shenton, 10 August 2006, Theatre.Corn
Philip Quast, who is currently giving a powerhouse performance as Perón in Michael Grandage s production of Evita in the West End, is a substantial actor in every sense. When he played the braggart warrior Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum two years ago at the National, composer Stephen Sondheirn (at an onstage platform interview in front of a packed Olivier Theatre) said that his favourite moment in the production was Quasts entrance. You hear him offstage saying, in a booming, stentorian voice, Watch out there, I take large steps! Sondheirn recalled. And he does. Its really inventive and funny. Quast takes large steps as an actor, too. After Forum, he went on to appear in the Nationals world premiere production of David Hares Stuff Happens. He also recently played Lopakhin in a production of The Cherry Orchard at the Sydney Theatre Company in his native Australia. A three-time Olivier Award winner, he won for his performances in Sunday in the Park with George, The Fix and South PaciflcQuast has also worked in classical theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his credits stretch from Edward Albees The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? to an acclaimed solo cabaret at the Donmar Warehouse. But if hes as serious as he is versatile as an actor, hes also affable and engaging company in his backstage dressing room at the Adelphi Theatre where Evita is playing.
Youve been spending a lot of time in Australia recently. Where do you call home?
Here. I definitely feel when I come back here that Im home again. I grew up in Tamworth, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, on a farm, and thats where my father and brother still are, in fact. When I show people pictures, they ask, My God, why are you living here in London, then? But the answer is very simple. I dont like Australia politically, I feel betrayed by its politics, its xenophobia and racism, and Im quite outspoken about it. I do not like the Prime Minister, its a dangerous situation because he has control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, so that all those industrial laws that were fought over for years and years by the workers have gone by the by now, all in order that we can become more competitive with China now. Australia is not the country I grew up in. Its an American country now.
When did you first come to Britain?
And when did you first work here? I first came as a 28 year old. Id already been working as an actor for a couple of years ago, and my wife and I came over and I did a little Channel 4 film. It was a couple of years before I came back to do Les Miserables. I had done Les Miz in Australia and then I had done the symphonic recording, which was the first of that sort of thing. The show had already turned into a leviathan, and suddenly we did that international recording and [producer] Cameron [Mackintosh] wondered if I could come over and do it here. My wife has a British passport because her father was British, so I became the first of a whole lot of Australians who followed. I seemed to start the whole thing off so that now half of Australia is here looking for work. The West End is full of Australians, especially the kids under 25 that cant get work in Australia because nothing runs there.
What did it feel like to be in the West End in a hit show that first time?
I remember crying at seeing places like Drury Lane for the first time, places Id only ever heard about in The Beggars Opera and things like that.
Tell me about getting the lead role in the British premiere of Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre in 1990 a show that is now in the West End again.
Ive not seen it yet and Id love to, but Im not sure I will. It was a really difficult time I was such a young actor. But I would love to go back and act it now though Im not sure I could sing it now, because Ive got a bit lazy, possibly. Actually, thats not right its rather the demands that you put on yourself now are so great, and as you get older you expect more of yourself. Its partially pride, but theres also a lot more expected of you, too.
And you got the Olivier Award for it, too.
I was actually back in Australia when it was awarded, so I never picked it up myself. Jeremy Sams picked it up for me, and I remember getting it from him at some stage door in a crumpled old brown paper bag about a year later when I came back.
What was it like working with Stephen Sondheim on Sunday in the Park with George?
He was there a lot. I remember him coming into my dressing room one night and seeing a copy of Carousel there, and picking it up and saying, The gods visited them when they wrote this. He looked at the My Boy Bill soliloquy and started going through it and showed me things about speech patterns in it. I remember him saying how pop music had destroyed language because its about percussion and we no longer give words long sounds that are long sounds, short sounds that are short sounds or diphthongs that are diphthongs.
It sounds like a brilliant tutorial in musical theatre. Do you teach others at all?
Yes, I pop in and teach at the drama school I went to the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney when Im there. I teach about acting in singing, which is not easy thing for people to get to grips with: To act and sing at the same time is a very hard thing to do. I remember seeing Hugh Jackman doing Oklahoma!, and if someone like that knows what they are doing, you relax, you sit back and enjoy it. You can tell when an actor comes on stage who is a good singer, and then you just relax. But Im not sure people understand the work you have to put into doing it. Singing is hard for me. Im not musical. Im sure that some of the kids in Evita were shocked watching me in rehearsal. Theyd seen the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miz, which is an iconic thing for many young people that theyve watched over and over again, and then I get into the rehearsal room and I know fuck all. I have to start all over again because I dont learn things musically. Because people think I can sing well, they presume Im a singer and that its easy. But its not easy. Ive never had any training as a singer, and I find it hard.
Do you read music?
Sort of can, but I refuse to work and sing like that. Because what you sing is not as important as what you dont sing, I get out of time all over the place. They say its easy. They count, its one and two. . . And I say, fuck off about the one and two, because if Im counting that and then coming in, Im not thinking about what my thought is there. So what I have to invent is a whole subtext. Its about acting rather than singing. When I teach the students, I can see that when the piano starts they stop acting, and its not until theyre halfway through that they start getting into the acting again. So the first thing I say is to listen to the intro, and not to sing at all. I just want them to listen. I tell them to relax and just speak the words instead. That way theyre not having to sing and count and produce the sound, all of a sudden something else happens. I got that from working with Trevor Nunn.
You worked with Trevor Nunn on South Pacific at the National, of course, and the directors youve been working with lately is roll call of talent.
When they asked me to do Democracy in Australia, I thought the chance to work with Michael Blakemore was one I couldnt pass up. Hes a legend and phenomenal. And again, when I did The Cherry Orchard with Howard Davies, thats another director you cannot turn down, either. I had the most fantastic time with him. Ive reached that age now where those classical roles are coming my way a bit more. I also did Trigorin in The Seagull at Chichester, directed by Steven Pimlott. To have worked with those directors, as well as Nick Hytner, Gale Edwards, Ed Hall, and now Michael Grandage, all within two years, is a wish list. I regard myself as the luckiest actor in the world.
You did a season once in Stratford-upon-Avon for the RSC. Would you like to do more classical work like that?
Loved it so much! I loved doing Shakespeare and Ive not done enough. I love doing the classics, whether theyre good or bad productions. Stratford gave me a real thirst for classical theatre, and I still havent done enough and I want to do more. My accent may be a problem and whatever, but I dont care. It was great being at Stratford. I could go to Cicely Berry, the head of voice there, all the time. Whenever I wanted a voice class, Id just book in and have one for free. I couldnt believe itbeing able to work with this person who wrote The Voice and The Actor. Or I could go and work on a sonnet with Andrew Wade. And I also loved living there and walking across the Avon between shows to see the kids or take them to school. I just loved it.
Youve got three sons who are now 16, 14, and 11 with your wife Carol, who is a schoolteacher. Family is obviously very important to you, as we saw in your solo cabaret at the Donmar Warehouse.
I didnt do cabaret until I reached an age when I knew something and had something to say. But what do I know about? I dont really know about anything, except being a father and being a son. My show became about that and being a man, too. I just wanted to sing bloke songs, and because Im at ease with myself, I could sing anything. I got people like Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Stephen Schwartz and Frank Wildhorn to give me new songs because I wanted to have all-new material though it didnt work out that way because I wasnt getting good songs all the time.
And now youre back in another iconic musical Evita.
Id been away in Australia a lot since the National season, so I needed a job that had money, and I got a chance to work with Michael Grandage. Theres a great lack of book musicals now, and its very hard. Even this is not really a book musical, so you have to create stuff that isnt there, or you do it as an oratorio, with microphones. What (original director) Hal Prince had done was to do a smoke-and-mirrors job on it. I saw it when I was a young actor in Adelaide, Australia, working with the South Australian Theatre Company, and I remember it very clearly. I can still remember the rocking chairs used in Art of the Possible. I thought it was fantastic. But its amazing how people distort things in their minds. I suspect that if we saw it now, really, wed probably find it very camp.
Our choreographer Rob Ashford was in an original touring production of Hals version, and he remembers the dancing very clearly, like the boys doing the dressing of Eva. Im not saying that it wasnt brilliant, but we discovered when we were doing this that theres all this music, and Hal had probably gone, We need another eight bars here because a bit of a set needs to be moved. The scenes with the Perons were done in a bed originally, and I remember very clearly that he was in a robe all the time. But Michael Grandage has decided to leave it as a bare stage, to keep the story moving along. And when they wrote this 30 years ago they knew nothing about South America. So its been re-orchestrated completely. There was a samba in there originally, which of course isnt Argentinian at all. Instead, what theyve done now is introduced a lot more tango, which is very sexy and macho. People have asked why I wanted to do this show when I dont have that much to do, but Ive found a way of making it important. I think Ive invested a lot of stuff in it thats not necessarily there, and I love working with Elena [Roger, who plays Eva]. I think shes incredible. But if I wasnt a strong enough character, then you wouldnt necessarily believe why shed want to hang her hat on my hook.
And you have to be fighting fit as well you have to lift her.
Shes 4 11 and easy to lift. But I stay fit cycling to work and swimming. Everyone thinks Im fat, and maybe I am overweight, but I feel like Im pretty fit. Im 49, and Ive still got to be able to bend down and pick a girl up, no matter how small she is, and lift her up to my shoulder and carry her. Thats no mean feat at 49. It isnt!
Thanks to Paul for taking the time to send this interview.
Showpeople: Philip Quast,
Interviw with Susan Elkin, 3 August 2006, The Stage.
Australian Philip Quast is a familiar face and voice in musical and straight theatre, TV and film in the UK as well as Australia. Resident in London for nearly 17 years, he plays Peron in Michael Grandages revival of Evita.
What brought you to London?
I trained at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney and first came to the UK in 1986 for a Channel 4job but it was doing Javert in the Australian production of Les Misérables which was the turning point. Afterwards Cameron Mackintosh invited me to do it in London. I was part of the world diaspora of actors in shows like Les Misérables and Cats.
What have you done beyond musical work?
A lot, Ive actually spent most of the last year working in Australia. So Im glad of a stable year on Evita so I can spend some time with my wife of 30 years and three sons. In Sydney I had a role in Howard Davis The Cheny Orchard, among other jobs. And I worked with Nick Hytner in Stuff Happens at the National last year. Of course, Ive done a lot of classics too and TV jobs such as Holby City, Midsomer Murders and Inspector Morse.
It seems a very eclectic mix.
Thats the only way to be taken seriously. There is still a perception that you dont have to act in musical theatre and it can certainly make you lazy, although working with outstanding directors like Trevor Nunn and Adrian Noble reminds you what a lot of good acting really does have to go into musical theatre.
What advice do you have for singer/actors starting out?
Get trained as an actor, although ironically, if a singer is good enough he or she wont. It will be music training on, for instance, Royal Academys musical theatre course.
Is it getting harder for beginners?
Im not sure. But too many drama schools are opening up and theres too much teaching by people who have had no practical theatre experience for a very long time. And there are even fewer television drama opportunities as reality TV takes over.
Do you teach?
Yes, I do guest sessions sometimes, which I love. Im pretty tough with the students but I think I learn more than I teach. Teaching shows you how little you know. Its humbling.
What are you going to do next?
I dont know yet. Ive been lucky and have rarely been out of work, and then only from choice. I shall look round for something quite different toward the end of this year. Meanwhile I like to achieve and learn. So Im using spare time between Evita commitments to learn guitar, study painting and write more.
Thanks to Paul for taking the time to send this interview.
First Night: Evita, Adelphi Theatre, London Oh, what a show! Little Mother brought to life by Argentinian actress
Review by Paul Taylor, The Independant, 22 June 2006 First Night: Evita, Adelphi Theatre, London
The cynic in me thought that it might even be a handicap having an authentically Argentinian performer playing Eva Peron in Michael Grandage's much-anticipated revival of Evita.
The commentator who claimed that Andrew Lloyd Webber's score is "about as Latin as steak-and-kidney pie" was wilfully overstating the case, but there is something more than a touch ersatz about its South American inflexions.
So it's a pleasure to report that the piece not only survives but thrives on the violent eruption of reality that comes in the diminutive shape of Elena Roger. As she charts the anti-heroine's progress from trashy opportunist to second wife (and First Lady) of the fascist Juan Peron and then to folk saint, Roger is simply sensational.
When this kid from the sticks hits the capital in the number "Buenos Aires", it's as a whirlwind of witty, drop-dead determination, every electrifying high-kick and tumbling, teasing phrase in that furious samba-extravaganza announcing the character's drive, devouring appetite, and sense of arrival. "Stand back! You wanna know what you're gonna get in me? Just a little touch of star quality..."
For "just a little touch", read "avalanche". Ms Roger has a wide, voracious mouth and a clarion voice capable of thrilling shrillness and of a pensive purity that's just on the point of curdling. She can also drop into a searing privacy that nonetheless feels partly calculated, as in her extraordinary, modulated reprise of "Don't Cry For Me..." when as a dying woman, she recycles her greatest hit in a renunciatory, damage-limiting broadcast.
Michael Grandage, one of our best directors, must have had to pinch himself to believe that Roger actually had dropped into his lap. His powerful production is full of acid humour, alert to the recklessness of a show that leaves itself open to the charge of glamourising fascism and of treating the well-heeled audience with a cynicism similar to that with which Eva and Juan Peron manipulated the shirtless masses.
Philip Quast, who is in excellent voice, makes a wonderfully uneasy President. For my taste, though, Matt Rawle is too straightforwardly likeable as the ironic commentator (and Eva's alter ego), Che Guevara. This character needs to be more abrasive and challenging to generate the requisite tension.
Does the piece train a critical eye on the decline of politics into showbiz, or does it merely cash in on this phenomenon? Grandage's production demon-strates that, if you could answer that question definitively, the musical would have failed as a revealing experience. It does not disqualify the piece or Ms Roger's extraordinary performance to say that the real-life Eva would probably have loved them.
Evita's Unforgettable Return to the West End.
First Night Review by Matt Wolf, Theatre.com, 22nd June 2006.
What's new, Evita (not to mention Buenos Aires)? Quite a lot, it turns out, in Michael Grandage's revival, at times electrifying and at others overearnest, of the last (and, many argue, best) of the four collaborations between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Opening 28 years to the day after Hal Prince's original London staging beat a global path for the British musical that has scarcely let up since, Grandage has discarded Prince's famously spare, neo-Brechtian approach in favour of something grander and far more self-consciously monumental: a song-and-dance icon fully aware of its formidable status. From our first glimpse of Christopher Oram's imposing set, lit to an elegantly heightened fare-thee-well by Paule Constable, the design hints at what the production goes on to bear out: this Evita pays full obeisance to the operatic aspirations of Lloyd Webber and Rice's rock opera, and if the result bypasses much of the wit and bitter humour that first time round sold the sizzle, at least on Broadway, Grandage and co. ensure that on their own terms attention must be paid.
Indeed, it's hard not to sit up and take note from the start, though those with long memories will miss the open-air screening sequence that jolted the Prince staging into being. Here, a frontcloth showing a portrait of Eva Peron rises, giving way to newsreel footage from July 1952, reporting our dubious heroine's death from cancer, age 33. We then see a solitary woman in a state of extreme grief, soon joined by a stage full of mourners who pair off into couples for a dance saturated in anguish; the connection won't be lost, for those who were then in Britain, on the reaction at the time to the sudden death at age 36 of Princess Diana, another massively popular figure, albeit of a very different sort. Suddenly, from amongst a cluster of the bereaved that could have stepped out of The House of Bernarda Alba emerges a diminutive figure shedding her head gear only to be revealed as 15-year-old Eva Duarte. And a star, as they say, is born.
Make no doubt about it: Argentine performer Elena Roger is a star, and her Eva Peron brought the crowd to its feet with an enthusiasm extending well beyond opening night protocol. Thickly accented, as was to be expected, Roger is as different from Patti LuPone as LuPone, in turn, is from Elaine Paige. Considerably more slight of build than her English and American forbears, the petite, flashing-eyed Roger owns the stage from the moment Oram's design takes us from Eva's hometown of Junin into the courtyard of the Casa Rosada, the Argentinian presidential palace that defines this production visually just as the black scaffolding, with floor to match, marked out Prince's take on the material. Leading that dynamite ensemble samba, "Buenos Aires," whose wholesale exuberance Rob Ashford's choreography doesn't quite achieve again, Roger projects precisely the magnetism that would lead the descamisados toward elevating one of their own and an audience toward confirming in Roger the very "star quality" of which Eva sings.
It's not just that Roger is, one presumes for the first time, a stage Evita of the same nationality as the character; authenticity, after all, only goes so far when you're playing someone who has been clearly reconceived for the theatre by two Englishmen, for all that Lloyd Webber and David Cullen's new orchestrations amplify the Latinisms of the score. (The tango is the aesthetic lynchpin.) And at times, truth to tell, Roger's foreignness, at least within this musical's Anglo-American creative context, lets proceedings down. One particularly misses the full-lipped, ripe sense of abandon anything goes indeed! that LuPone brought to numbers like "Rainbow High," here none too interestingly re-envisioned as part of a larger musical set piece about luggage, just as "The Art of the Possible" earlier reduces General Peron's military machinations to a rather awkwardly brutish dance of death. Prince and choreographer Larry Fuller's vision of that same number as a game of musical chairs proves, indeed, an impossible act to follow.
But if Roger doesn't seize upon the humour a forgivable enough lapse for someone singing a demanding score not in her native tongue she compensates with the sort of presence not taught by Berlitz. Roger commands attention as she is tossed libidinously from one lover to the next during "Goodnight and Thank You," and she seems to intertwine herself around Philip Quast's outsized Peron both physically and emotionally during "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You." The arc of the Perons' relationship is one of the genuine thrills charted by Grandage, whose immersion over the years in classical theatre brings a texture to a hastily drawn partnership that stays with you long after the curtain has come down. Roger may barely come up to Quast's navel but she posits a tiny spitfire with nerves of steel, whose devotion she ends "A New Argentina" looking not at the audience but at the husband who will bring her to power makes you wonder what these same two performers might be like playing the Macbeths. (Eva even gets a sequence late on where her past flits before her, as in Shakespeare's play.)
Roger's forte as an actress on this evidence lies in tragedy, and she chronicles Eva's descent into illness with real gravity, not teary grandstanding. And once his wife's body gives way, Quast, in another terrific performance from this three-time Olivier Award-winner, himself seems to snap in two, a giant man undone by undying love for a woman who (a neat touch here) haunts the balcony of the Casa Rosada even upon her death, at which point this production sends spinning a bed from which Eva neatly disappears. If the net effect is to reduce Matt Rawle's casual, over-gesticulating Che the third point in the show's thespian triangle to the role of irksome observer rather than moral conscience, that's part of the determination with which Grandage has rethought the show from the ground up. Those fresh to Evita, of course, won't care about comparisons, and for those who do? I can't imagine anyone who won't want to see the first post-Falklands Evita and marvel at the way in which "A New Argentina" isn't all that's new.
Evita First Night, (*****)
Review by Michael Coveney, What's on Stage, 22nd June 2006
A sure test of a great show is that its second major production can compete with the impact of the first. That was the case at the Adelphi Theatre when Elaine Paige, the originating star of Evita, the 1978 musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, was on hand on this revivals opening night to acclaim her successor, the equally diminutive Elena Roger.
Hal Princes original staging was a Brechtian chronicle of political intrigue and social climbing. Michael Grandage, artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, with his regular designer Christopher Oram, has realised the fuller operatic potential of the score, placing the action within the huge, crumbling colonial grandeur of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, where Eva sings her signature number, Dont Cry for Me Argentina, an ambivalent hymn to her own celebrity.
With an Argentinian, Ms Roger, playing the lead, Lloyd Webber and his co-orchestrator, David Cullen, using a much more string-based and guitar-led rhythm section, have gone back to tango basics. So, for that matter, has the brilliant choreographer Rob Ashford, whose funeral chorus at the announcement of Evas death (she died, aged 33, of cancer, in 1952) segues silkily in flashback into her relationship with a lounge singer (On This Night of a Thousand Stars).
At this point we seem to be in Lorca territory, with black-veiled choric women supporting and bemoaning Evas death and adventures. The narrator Che, whom David Essex originally made a self-contained Guevara poster pin-up in beret and battle fatigues, is re-imagined by Matt Rawle, in a pained, casual yet sexually-charged performance (taking his cue from Antonio Banderas in the 1996 Alan Parker movie) as a critical, distant lover. Hes not an observer but a fully engaged coeval.
This allows Rogers bird-like, steely Evita to shuttle dispassionately between the rival advances of Rawles cynical Che and the mountainous Juan Peron of Philip Quast (so much expressively better than the inert Joss Ackland in the original), while cementing her public persona with the peasants, the descamidos, or shirtless, and the audience. The girl from the sticks ends up on the balcony.
No one listening to this score with open ears can doubt its integrated mastery of rhythm, the quilt-like cross-quotation between big numbers, the cleverness of the underscoring, the melodic surge of the big numbers, the vitality of the Big Apple/Buenos Aires item that documents Evas metropolitan destiny; or, indeed, the unselfconscious brilliance with which Rice and Lloyd Webber use the Evita legend to raise perennial modern issues of charitable foundations, social climbing, sexual attraction and political manoeuvring.
The political rise of Peron was first done as a game of musical chairs; now its an elegant wrestling bout, with each sinister participant vividly characterised. And Evas arrival as Perons new woman is poignantly registered by the evicted mistress (Lorna Want) in one of the shows best songs, Another Suitcase in Another Hall, pointlessly commandeered by Madonna in the movie. Evas famous rainbow tour They need to adore me, so Christian Dior me to win friends in Europe, is another gloriously detailed sequence, with pointed, witty lyrics and real dramatic momentum, and the beautiful waltz for Che and Eva is now followed by the haunting song Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote for the movie (it won an Oscar), You Must Love Me.
Roger hits the heights in all the right places, exuding a firm interior charm as well as a knowing, calculated aura thats new to the role. Tiny as a bird, she soars to the challenge. And she dances magnificently, buoyed along by a superbly drilled chorus and some genuinely breathtaking moments of ensemble staging. Theres no more exciting performance in London: a truly great musical has been famously restored.
Evita stages a grand revival
Review by Charles Spencer, The Telegraph, 22nd June 2006
It is exactly 28 years since Evita first opened in the West End, ushering in an era when for a dozen years or so, Britain effortlessly dominated musical theatre all over the world.
Such international hits as Cats, Phantom, Les Mis and Miss Saigon followed, making huge fortunes wherever they travelled, but Evita, with its sharp witty lyrics by Tim Rice and one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's finest, through-sung scores was the daddy of them all.
Not that it was greeted with universal approval. Bernard Levin described Evita as "one of the most disagreeable evenings I have ever spent in my life, in or out of the theatre". And when the show opened in New York, the waspish John Simon described its creators as "two amoral, barely talented whippersnappers" and the show as "an artfully produced monument to human indecency".
What stuck in the craw of these two was that they saw the show's double portrait of Eva Peron and her Hitler-admiring husband as a glorification of fascism. And there are certainly moments in the show, now receiving an outstanding revival from Michael Grandage, and a socking great star performance from the diminutive, authentically Argentinian actress Elena Roger that seem to find a certain glamour in the jackboot.
But then doesn't part of us admire the wit and dash of Richard III, and the Old Etonian panache of Captain Hook? The theatre has always been a place where baddies shine. And what seems to me the greatest strength of the show is its consistently ambivalent attitude to Eva Peron, brilliantly caught by Grandage and his new star.
Again and again we are shown what a manipulative, self-serving and amoral little minx she was, with the narrator figure of Che Guevara drawing constant attention to her wiles and weaknesses. Again and again, though, we find ourselves falling for her dangerous allure, just like the poor descamisados (the "shirtless ones") who adored her. The show is a demonstration of the way blatant populist politics work. The audience gets suckered too.
Neither Rice nor Lloyd Webber has ever been better than they are here, and one mourns the fact that this was their last major collaboration. Rice's wit seems to have helped Lloyd Webber to combine his familiar lush and yearning romanticism with a welcome astringency, while the subject matter allows him to explore the tango and Latin American rhythms to superbly enjoyable effect. But the lyricist, whose idea this show was, also writes with a point, an economy and a heart that have often eluded him since.
Almost every song is memorable - I have an especially soft spot for Another Suitcase in Another Hall, beautifully sung here by Lorna Want as Peron's rejected mistress, while the best of the lyrics, "They need to adore me, so Christian Dior me", make you laugh out loud.
My memory of Hal Prince's original production is that it was clever, flashy, cold, and Brechtian. Grandage offers a warmer and more organic staging, telling the story of Evita's rise with simplicity and some sympathy, and getting maximum value from Christopher Oram's monumental Buenos Aires designs and Rob Ashford's dazzling and sometimes sizzlingly erotic choreography.
Elena Roger's tiny and apparently frail Evita dominates the stage with tremendous presence, a wonderfully expressive mouth and eyes and a strong, sometimes rough-edged voice. In short she has exactly the star quality the role requires.
There's strong support from Philip Quast as her sinister husband and Matt Rawle as an unexpectedly likeable Che, while the ensemble is first rate. I have a strong suspicion that Evita is going to be a huge and durable hit all over again.
Evita First Night, (****)
Review by Benedict Nightingale, The Times, 22nd June 2006.
THE backhanded salute to Eva Peron that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice produced in 1978 was their last major collaboration and maybe their best. And Im not just saying that because I cant get the famous song at the shows centre out of my head. Indeed, its presence is particularly annoying because right now I want Argentina to start crying, this time at an 8-0 defeat by England.
Theres no doubt that Evita was a fascinating character. One of the shows paradoxical strengths is that its creators cant make up their minds about her. Yes, she ruthlessly slept her way from poverty to the top and did all that she could to manipulate the last of many lovers, Juan Perón, into power. Yet when she says (or, this being a sung-through show, sings) that, I am Argentina, is it just hubris? Was her bond with the descamisados, or shirtless ones, simply cynicism? Michael Grandages production and Elena Rogers performance keep us wondering, as were still wondering about Evas upper-crust English heir, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Roger is Argentinian herself and quite a revelation. Philip Quasts Perón looms over her like a brontosaurus over a stick-insect, but, whether shes shimmering in triumph or preparing for a poignant death, its Roger who commands the stately marble and elegant iron fretwork of Christopher Orams set. She has a grin the size of her body, and it can look flirtatious, sassy, voracious or delighted, depending on circumstances. Theres also a brashness in her voice, at times so jarring that I thought my ears were being attacked with an electric screwdriver, but then again, wasnt that Evita?
She can also dance, and should dance more, for the shows variations on the tango are another strength. Here, just about everyone performs it, from mourners at Evas funeral to Quasts big, flashy Perón, who ends a symbolic dance with a fellow officer by waving a white handkerchief, then kneeing him in the groin. But the stage musical is a lot less sure than Alan Parkers movie at chronicling the eras politics. Peróns arrest and imprisonment are missing, as indeed is everything about Evas illegitimacy and deprived background.
Never mind. Never mind that Matt Rawle, a sweatily unshaven narrator inexplicably called Che, could deliver more fact and less easy scepticism. Its rare and refreshing to get a musical that, as well as being awash with alluring music, interests itself in politics, especially foreign politics. And here, too, the evidence is paradoxical. Were the Peróns simply Fascist demagogues or, just for a time, did they give the shirtless a voice as well as some shirts? This riveting show, like history itself, still hasnt a definitive answer.
Review by Nicholas de Jongh, London Evening Standard, 22nd June 2006
I am a touch ashamed to admit I have fallen head over heels for Evita again, with Michael Grandage's dynamic production offering a charismatic titlerole performance, ripe for superlatives, by unknown Argentinian Elena Roger.
When Evita premiered 25 years ago I was caught in its emotional fall-out and overwhelmed against my better, politically motivated judgment.
After all, Evita celebrates celebrity in the shape of a good-time girl married to President Juan Perón, who was eventually the workers' ally, but began in the government of a pro-Hitler military dictatorship.
The musical is duly pulled in two directions. Lloyd Webber's music swoons in heartfelt fashion all over Evita as if she were Puccini's Mimi. Meanwhile Tim Rice's often sarcastic lyrics, through the narrative voice of Che, more than half mock what is termed Eva's circus show to woo a gullible public.
Grandage's production may not provide that much of a political edge, yet in the exultant excitement of A New Argentina, which concludes the first act in climactic ecstasy, you see just how the masses can be whipped into wild fervour by clever politicians.
"Why try to govern a country when you can become a saint," Matt Rawle's fine, handsome Che sings with characteristic jovial cynicism. It is Che's sardonic, put-down songs, Oh What a Circus or Good night And Thank You, when president Perón's old lover is given the push by Eva, and High Flying Adored that give the musical its tension, sophistication and sense of satirical mockery. The show never succumbs to simple political celebrity worship.
Noel Coward famously said he was amazed how potent cheap music was and although the tickets must now rate as pretty expensive, you can see what he meant. Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Eva's farewell song, whose musical theme echoes throughout, comes at you with such waves of emotion that you lose all thought of how the poor, bright girl artfully screwed her way through the government, into Perón's bedroom and his heart, ejecting a 16-year-old mistress in the process.
When Miss Roger's blanched Eva comes out onto the long balcony of the Casa Rosada, which looks sumptuously grand in Christopher Oram's realistic design, Rice's lyrics and Lloyd Webber's music work beautifully together.
Miss Roger, whose voice in the first act occasionally seems overwhelmed by the orchestra, rises up strong, fervent and passionate. Eva's song for the spellbound people, a stoic summing-up of her life, may start as a political act, but then genuine feeling takes over.
Eva, darling of the working classes for her poor people's foundation, has discovered a life purpose.
Miss Roger, all vulnerability and cunning, with enough sex appeal and raw erotic energy to snare half a government, initially sports dark hair, a terrific dancing technique and a taste for young men. Once Eva sets her cap, dress and all on Perón, who remains a politically vacant, half-baked character, despite Philip Quast's impressive voice, she turns blonde and graceful.
Her performance, which conveys in song and dance the exuberance of a sexual adventuress and the ardour of the presidential saviour she wished to become, brought first nighters to their feet. For me, though, it only takes those famous songs to bowl me over.
Review by David Benedict, Variety, 22 June 2006.
As Sandy Wilson said in his 1953 musical "The Boy Friend," "Some people's one desire is to go to Buenos Aires." That's certainly the case with the heroine of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita." About 15 minutes into Michael Grandage's pulse-racing revival, the gloweringly lit, cracked plaster back wall flies out as Lloyd Webber's infectious fast samba "Buenos Aires" kicks in. Gone is Eva's peasant past; she's living for the future in the city of her dreams, thrillingly embodied by the entire company dancing as if their lives depended upon it. Such electrifying energy needs a source, and it's got it in triple-threat dynamo Elena Roger as Eva.
"What's new?" is her exultant, open-throated cry. Throwing her self joyously from partner to partner on Christopher Oram's monumental three-sided, balconied set, eyes flashing in determination, this isn't a question; it's a fearless challenge. What's new about the explosive number is that when she sings, "Put me down for a lifetime of success," not a soul in the auditorium is likely to disagree. It's also blindingly clear that Grandage's entire production team knows it. Yet they have the courage to ensure the show is not a star vehicle but a serious theatrical event.
The line between showmanship and shamelessness is dangerously thin. Most productions are so desperate to persuade audiences they're having a good time that a button is put on every possible number; this one takes them out. There now are only three moments in this show where audiences can applaud. This not only makes those climaxes truly deserving of roars of approval, it also means the story is forever being driven onward. In a sung-through musical with no book, that's crucial.
The resultant fluidity is the production's secret weapon. Applause stops the action, but feeding the energy of one scene ceaselessly into the next galvanizes Eva's trajectory and the growing political fervour. "Evita" wants to be an opera, but it's actually closer to an oratorio, in which scenes are set up and sung about rather than dramatized. Instead of plot, a narrator, Che (the marvellously relaxed, sardonic Matt Rawle) links scenes on a chronological journey through the life of the hick from the Latin American sticks whose naked ambition takes her to the top.
At first look, the rise to becoming a fascist dictator's wife wearing Christian Dior while the country starved looks like the classic rags-to-pregnant doges story. Yet the strength of the show's conception is its intriguing ambivalence about her character, a juggling act that is the forefront of this revival.
The politics are never back-pedalled. Indeed, one of the simplest but biggest risks this production takes is in the "And the Money Kept Rolling In" number, in which wads of banknotes are distributed to the poor. Eva, however, isn't presented as some Robin Hood character. She spends the number looking radiant, not with concern, but at the brilliance of her own achievement. The effect is chilling, all the more so because the dancing around her is so invigorating.
Choreographer Rob Ashford, Lloyd Webber and dance arranger David Chase have reconceived the score, the composer's most inventive, as Latin American, not just in rhythmic changes but in the whole tone. The show now has sounds of the accordion, of soft guitars and shimmering harp effects; the tango takes over as the musical motor.
Out goes the literal-mindedness that flattened the sober movie version; in comes imagination. The approach papers over cracks in the storytelling and provides more direct access to engaging, often contradictory emotions. Telling the story through dance frees up the possibility to present ideas in multiple ways at any given moment.
In "The Art of the Possible," the generals wittily use the tango as a lethal, formal tussle of power as they stalk each other and fight to get to the top. Halfway through "I'd Be Surprisingly Good for You," the number slows to a seriously smouldering tango in which Eva and Peron's teasing and threatening of each other is physically echoed by other pairs of dancers snaking themselves about. In that number, Philip Quast's full-voiced, mightily powerful Peron looks as if he could wolf down Roger's petite body as a quick snack. Yet seeing someone so tiny tame a man that big makes Eva seem even more dangerous.
Hal Prince's original production's most iconic moment was the staging of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" on the balcony at the Casa Rosada. Here, caught in Paule Constable's crossing of white searchlights above the crowd, Roger repeats the famous gestures of hands symmetrically aloft, but she makes the moment her own. "And as for fortune and as for fame" has a tigerishness in place of the expected "who me?" sweetness. She makes the line beat with controlled rage before bringing everything right down for the reprise, to highly moving effect.
In the final section, dying Eva is spun around on a hospital bed. Cleverly clustered choreography disguises her exit. Two people then lift the pillow, which unfolds into the political flag and is draped over the bed as the cast process past it like a body lying in state. Yet above them, Eva appears on the balcony again, looking down, beaming. She's engrossingly enigmatic to the last, but one thing's certain: She and Grandage's seamless production are going to dominate this stage and the West End musical for a seriously long time.
Nothing to Cry for ****
Review by Siobhan Murphy, London Metro, 23rd June 2006
Since Time Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's caustic portrait of Argintina's Eva Peron was first staged in the West End in1978, we've become more accustomed to stories of minor celebrities taking on major political roles. We've also more aquainted with the national political arean being turned into a garish showbiz extravaganza and of normally sane people filling the streets wailing in grief for a woman they've never met.
The Greater significance of Evita, therefore now seems clearer: it goes beyond one South American country's veneration of their leader's wife and the popular culture icon that emerged from this. For this reason it's weathering well.
Whatever the truth ehind this biting, backhanded salute, it is also a tremendous piece of musical theatre, which emulates opera and occasionally achieves that grandeur.
Michael Grandage's beautifully judged production is enhanced by Christopher Oran's imposing set, all stone, wrought iron and colonial excess. Matt Rawle as Che (oringinally Guevara, but now a more anonymous, embittered Argentinian) stalks proceedings wielding an impressive amount of bile. The ensemble cast also add depth and colour, especially with their spirited tango moves, which appear in various forms throught - the mournful from the funeral goers, highly sexualised at the ball where Eva and Juan Peron first meet, even militaristic and agressive when Peron is asserting his power in the military.
But Evita naturally stands or falls on its leading lady and tiny Argentinian actress Elena Roger is a revelation. Towered over by Philip Quast (in impressive voice as Peron) she still exudes much more than the 'little bit star quality' she sings about and dominates centre stage.
Her vocal range eases her from purring sensuality when seducing Peron to full-throated roar for her bif numbers (though her beguiling accent means some words are lost). She's also a talented and energetic dancer. The fact you come out humming those famous numbers is down to Rice and Lloyd Webber's brilliance on this, thier best collaboration. But Roger's command of the role will stay with you just as strongly.
Madge, eat your heart out.
WINNER FOR EVA 'N' EVER
Review by Bill Hagerty, The Sun June 2006
Until Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice resurrected her, there were millions outside South America who thought Eva Peron was an Italian mineral water.
I suspect quite a few were present at the first night of director Michael Grandage's revival of this 1976 hit musical.
But by then they'd learned that Eva was the First Lady of Argentina, a charismatic wheeler and dealer who captivated a nation before dying in 1952 at the age of 33 and being dubbed Santa Evita by her husband, President Juan Peron.
The on-their-feet first-nighters awarded an ovation to some of Lloyd Webber and Rice's better songs - 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina', 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall' - and a powerhouse performance by a true star, Elena Roger.
This tiny native of Buenos Aires brings throbbing passion to the title role and can even sing and dance at the same time - don't laugh, many can't.
I was not as overwhelmed as the whooper's and the squealers and many of my critical colleagues by Grandage's competent but rarely exciting take on the show. It's not a patch on the Madonna movie.
But it would be churlish to deny Ms Roger's vivacity, Philip Quast's excellent singing as Juan and Matt Rawle's likeable tell-it- like- it-is narrator, Che.
Eva had immortality guaranteed worldwide by Britain's most successful musical duo.
Thanks to Ally for providing us with the review.
Final Curtain Pictures:
Pictures of the cd signing by Philip, Elena and Matt at the Dress Circle shop in London, Wednesday 16th August 2006
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