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This is Webber's BEST SHOW BAR NONE 
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Tony Winner
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Pounce wrote:
Musically, I think JCS is ALW's best but Evita is up there. But I'm not happy how either show ends. They sort of end on a "wimper" leaving me feeling unfulfilled. CATS has a big finish and Phantom has an ending leaving the audience with chills. Evita just sort of....ends. There might be some sort of artistic meaning intended but to me the most important element of musical theater is ENTERTAINMENT. Evita is a great show but "the ball is dropped" musically at the end.


Remember there are at least two endings of Evita; the original concept album ends with the embalmers, and the later staged version ends with Che talking about how her body disappeared. The latter is very weak, I think, and adds nothing except an irrelevant distraction.

The original album ending, although quiet, is a dramatically effective ending. It takes guts to end a musical quietly. Nearly always producers will insist on a big bang finish, on a tune the audience can hum as they leave. However, quiet endings, when done well, can be the most effective.

We've seen the big public side to Evita's death with the funeral that opens the show. So at the end, we see the private side, as the woman dies, reflecting on her ambiguous life. They balance each other perfectly.


Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:56 am
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I usher at a community theatre, and last night a group began their run of Evita, so I actually got to see it for the first time. It was a wonderful show (the cast and ensemble were surprisingly strong for an amateur group), but what really got me was that ALW didn't try to white wash anyhting...I mean he didn't try to stick to one side. He had the adoring public who supported Evita, and then he had Che, who provided the cutting criticism against her. And then they had Evita herself, the human woman who succombed to mortality.

Overall I really liked the show. My only concern was that they did the whole Che=Che Guevera thing. It works so much better if he's not running around in army fatigues and a beret the whole time. I like what they did with Banderas in the movie-had him blend in with whatever the scene was.

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Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:08 am
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Post Re: This is Webber's BEST SHOW BAR NONE
Yeslek wrote:
I'm actually not a big fan of ALW, but I think Evita is absolutely brilliant and inspired. Phantom is good, but can't hold a candle to this one. What do you think?



I ADORE Evita, all 3 versions (British, English and Movie) but I think I might put Phantom or JCS just above it. From what I have read about Eva Duarte de la Peron, she was a pretty harsh woman, stole from her country, hid money in other countries not in her name, (not excusing Juan here, he was involved too). L'est we forget what Che says about Argentina having the 2nd largest gold reserves in the world, only to be bankrupt after the Perons took office. The country "grew up and grew rich on beef" but was eventually forced to ration it.

Sure, her people adored her (people love handouts) but I'm looking at it from an objective point of view. I'm sure she could be a very wonderful woman who did a lot of great things for people but I feel ALW (please don't forget Tim Rice - he was involved in Evita too) tamed her down a tad too much. Then again, that is only a realist point of view. I wouldn't change anything about the play. Don't forget - when they were filming the movie in Argentina, there were things the Argentinians were unhappy about with the way they were filming the movie about her (IIRC, one of them was "Goodnight and Thank You."

They definitely did one thing right (well, there were several, but I'm just pointing one out) for the movie, adding "You Must Love Me." It is an absolutely beautiful song and the scene of Juan carrying her up those long stairs then sitting in a chair in the hall with his head in his heads brings me to tears every time.

I've heard Juan was a pedophile. There are lyrics in Evita about equating her with Mussolini, can't think why." Did she sleep with him?

All in all, it's a beautiful story, AFAIC, tamed down, but I wouldn't change anything.

Every single one of ALW/TR's plays brings me to tears - "You Must Love Me" in Evita, Several songs in JCS, Memory from Cats. We'll, let's just say I'm sentimental. :D I know ALW didn't do A Chorus Line but if you've never been to see that play, go see it. If you have even the slightest inkling of what it was like to have a dysfunctional childhood, you will be in tears quite often. The cast pours their heart out. Some is funny, some is tragic. And a lot of us can relate to what the cast is saying..

For some reason, I could never get into Sunset or Joseph.

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:11 pm
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Pounce wrote:
Musically, I think JCS is ALW's best but Evita is up there. But I'm not happy how either show ends. They sort of end on a "wimper" leaving me feeling unfulfilled. CATS has a big finish and Phantom has an ending leaving the audience with chills. Evita just sort of....ends. There might be some sort of artistic meaning intended but to me the most important element of musical theater is ENTERTAINMENT. Evita is a great show but "the ball is dropped" musically at the end.



I agree with you. I am moved to tears in the movie when they turn out the light signifying Evita has died. I am upset they didn't include the second verse of her dying song:

"The choice, was mine and mine completely. I could have any prize that I desired. I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire, or else, or else I could choose time.

Remember, I was very young then, and a year for forever and a day (isn't it that way for all of us?), so what used, could 50, 60, 70 be? I saw the lights and I was on my way."

(Then they cut to "oh my daughter, oh my son, understand what I have daone" instead of including the 2nd verse:

"The choice, was mine and noone else's. I could have the millions at my feet. Give my life to people I might never meet, or else, to children of my own. Remember, I was very young then, thought I needed the numbers on my side. Thought the more than loved me, the more loved I'd be, but such things cannot be multiplied."


Those are some very moving lyrics.

I'm also disappointed that they left out of the beginning "Ride on my train, oh my people, and when it's your turn to die, you'll remember - when they fire those cannons, sing lamentations, not just for Eva, for Argentina, so share my glory, so share my coffin." I was never clear on that - so share her glory, so die along with her? Is that what it's supposed to mean?

That's when Che declares "It's our funeral too."

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:18 pm
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Mistress wrote:
I usher at a community theatre, and last night a group began their run of Evita, so I actually got to see it for the first time. It was a wonderful show (the cast and ensemble were surprisingly strong for an amateur group), but what really got me was that ALW didn't try to white wash anyhting...I mean he didn't try to stick to one side. He had the adoring public who supported Evita, and then he had Che, who provided the cutting criticism against her. And then they had Evita herself, the human woman who succombed to mortality. [\quote]

Well, Che is a real character and a fictional character. The *real* Che Guevara was a murderer, Marxist and socialist. He believed in world revolution. He kept company with Fidel Castro and per "Wikipedia", Guevara soon rose to prominence among the insurgents, was promoted to Comandante, and played a pivotal role in the successful two year guerrilla campaign that deposed Batista. Following the Cuban revolution, Guevara reviewed the appeals of those convicted as war criminals during the revolutionary tribunals, ratifying sentences which in some cases (the number of death sentences is disputed) involved execution by firing squads." Not a nice man. Sure, he is Eva's antagonist but a watered down version and almost a martyr in the movie.


Per ALW/TR, "their" character Che was not based upon Che Guevara (as much as it would appear to be so). Che in the play does play a fantastic antagonist but I still don't feel they portrayed the "entire" Evita Peron or the "entire" Che Guevara, if that is indeed who they had in mind when they were writing those characters.


Quote:
Overall I really liked the show. My only concern was that they did the whole Che=Che Guevera thing. It works so much better if he's not running around in army fatigues and a beret the whole time. I like what they did with Banderas in the movie-had him blend in with whatever the scene was.



Well, Guevara was a guerrilla. He should be running around in army fatigues. More realstic.

However, Banderas surprised me. He did a fantastic job in that role (watered down as Che's character was). I strongly dislike Madonna but thought she did a really good job in the movie. Of course, when the first time you ever hear Evita it is sung by Patti Lupone, everything else is a letdown. LOL. (And let's not forget Mandy Patinkin's portrayal of Che either).

Then again, these plays are based some on make-believe and some on facts. I honestly do not think most folks realize what a terrorirst Guevara was. Do a Google if you're curious.

Even though, ALW/TR DID say their Che was not based upon Che Guevara the similarities were there.

Sorry for getting so long winded. I am just a huge fan of this play and have admired it for years. Setting aside a few of the facts does not ruin the play in any way. It is definitely one of ALW/TR's best works.

I'm not posting to be critical here, just, I guess, a little upset that they made Che out to be a martyr and Evita to be almost 100% good. However, Antonio Banderas can be my marter anyday. LOL.

One final note - Jonathan Pryce did an exceptional performance in the movie. I was so disappointed in the Phantom movie by the guy who played Raoul - Patrick someone or other. Does he even have facial expressions? I was rooting for the phantom to off him about 1/2 way thru the movie. (giggle).

Anyway, I am really glad you enjoyed it. If you haven't seen any other ALW plays, I highly recommend them. And again, please don't take this as criticism. I love the play and love to discuss it and the realities of what happened during the Peron regime too.

Have a great day! :D

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:39 pm
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Vikefantam wrote:


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Overall I really liked the show. My only concern was that they did the whole Che=Che Guevera thing. It works so much better if he's not running around in army fatigues and a beret the whole time. I like what they did with Banderas in the movie-had him blend in with whatever the scene was.



Well, Guevara was a guerrilla. He should be running around in army fatigues. More realstic.


What I meant was that I don't like Che being portrayed as Che Guevera...I believe Che should be an Everyman, like Benderas played him...if they had done that, there would have been no need for him to be running around in fatigues and a beret, and instead he could have adopted the clothing of whatever character he was playing in each scene (waiter, business man, etc.)

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:15 pm
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Well, there are lyrics on the recording to indicate:

"From 17, to 24, his country bled, crucified - she's not the only one who's died."

There are also vague indications of him going on to do other things in the Waltz. However, the decision to make "Che" into Che Guevara was mainly Harold Prince's idea.

My problem is that I feel that the character of Eva isn't particularly sympathetic... I mean, JCS managed to strike a perfect balance, but with Evita, you mainly have Che being snarky and throwing her down at every turn.

But still, I think it's a very deep and complex work, with some of Webber's best music, and Tim Rice's best lyrics. It's one of my favorites.


Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:28 pm
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Mistress wrote:
Vikefantam wrote:


Quote:
Overall I really liked the show. My only concern was that they did the whole Che=Che Guevera thing. It works so much better if he's not running around in army fatigues and a beret the whole time. I like what they did with Banderas in the movie-had him blend in with whatever the scene was.



Well, Guevara was a guerrilla. He should be running around in army fatigues. More realstic.


What I meant was that I don't like Che being portrayed as Che Guevera...I believe Che should be an Everyman, like Benderas played him...if they had done that, there would have been no need for him to be running around in fatigues and a beret, and instead he could have adopted the clothing of whatever character he was playing in each scene (waiter, business man, etc.)



Aah, I see what you mean. Whether or not ALW and TR want to admit it or not, the character of Che was loosely based on Che Guevara, IMO. For the sake of the show, his part is fantastic. I reallly really liked Mandy Patinkin (who did it with Lupone). As much as I think Banderas gave an incredible performance in the movie, nobody beats Patinkin, IMO.

Mandy Patinkin has one of those voices that is so strong, yet he can sing softly and sensitively enough to bring tears to your eyes (do a You Tube search on him singing "Over the Rainbow". Sigh. Also loved him on Chicago Hope. He played a really good jerk of a doctor, and having worked in the medical field for 21 years, I can tell you that there truly more than a few Dr. Jeffrey Geigers out there. :P :wink: :roll:

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:08 pm
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Pannic wrote:
.

My problem is that I feel that the character of Eva isn't particularly sympathetic... I mean, JCS managed to strike a perfect balance, but with Evita, you mainly have Che being snarky and throwing her down at every turn.
.


eva being unsympathetic isnt a problem its an asset. if you were to write a musical on hilter would you make him loveable.

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Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:46 am
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Salome wrote:
Pannic wrote:
.

My problem is that I feel that the character of Eva isn't particularly sympathetic... I mean, JCS managed to strike a perfect balance, but with Evita, you mainly have Che being snarky and throwing her down at every turn.
.


eva being unsympathetic isnt a problem its an asset. if you were to write a musical on hilter would you make him loveable.
There are still people today in Argentina who greatly admire the Perons. There are numerous political parties that identify themselves as Peronists.

The only people alive today who admire Hitler are screwball conspiracy theorists and racists. There's a difference.


Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:48 pm
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Actually, there are many sane people who believe in Hitler's ideologies, he had a few good points, and a lot of bad points. The only different between him and almost every other politician is that he showed the bad sides of the cause instead of the good points. Do a little research on him, he's quite interesting.

And before someone accuses me for being racist or nazi, I am neither. And I do not admire Hitler, but I do find him interesting.


Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:23 am
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Personally, I'd prefer to show the change in Eva. She starts out as fairly innocent yet ambitous, but becomes cold and hard as she is stepped on. She then begins to step on others to achive what she's always wanted, power, wealth, fame and to be loved, or her idea of love at any rate. When she finds out she is dieing, she has an emotional breakdown and becomes even more vulnerable then she was to start with.


Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:45 am
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