It had been awhile since I saw the film version of Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. In fact, that has been my only exposure to the musical, so I was excited at the opportunity to check out the stage version when it opened here in Atlanta on Tuesday night. I mean, this girl isn’t going to say no to a Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the 1996 film or with the story of Eva Perón – all you really need to know is that she is one of the most beloved and polarized figures in Argentine history. The musical follows Eva’s life and rise to power all the way to her eventual death in 1952. It’s won countless awards over the years, and boasts one of the most well-known songs from Broadway – “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” The show was just revived here in the States in 2012.
Caroline Bowman was the talent behind Eva at the performance I saw. I did have one bone to pick with her, she made a rather interesting choice in how she portrayed Eva… or at least I’m assuming it was a choice. Bowman took a number of loud breaths at various points in song – which didn’t sound as seamless through the mic as one would have liked. Perhaps it was a choice Bowman made to foreshadow Eva slowly getting sicker – but it seemed to have started a bit too early in the story. It could have also been a mic issue as well. However, regardless, she had a beautiful voice and did a fabulous job at bringing Eva to life and making the audience fall in love with her.
Josh Young is also worth noting as he did an incredible job as Che. It’s really unfair that his character stands in Bowman’s shadow purely because of the musical numbers. I could listen to both of these individuals sing together all night long.
Overall, it’s a solid show. There are beautiful costumes and set decorations. As I mentioned earlier it’s a musical from the mastermind Andrew Lloyd Webber, so you know the caliber of what you’re walking into. Evita runs through this Sunday at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, and then it’s off to Buffalo, New York after that. You can pick up tickets (ranging from $30 – $90) through Ticketmaster.
Photo Credit: Richard Termine