Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA is Melbourne's Summer Musical in 2018-9. One of the most celebrated musicals of all time, the original West End and Broadway production directed by Hal Prince and starring Tina Arena, will be playing State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne until March following a sold out season at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year.
The stellar cast is led by Australian icon, singer, songwriter and musical theatre star Tina Arena in the role of Eva Perón, opera superstar Paulo Szot as Juan Perón, and Kurt Kansley as the young revolutionary Che. Michael Falzon will play tango singer Magaldi, while the role of Perón's Mistress is played by Alexis van Maanen, making her professional debut. Jemma Rix will be the Eva Perón Alternate at certain performances.
Completing the cast will be Justin Anderson, Anton Berezin, Michael Camilleri, Olivia Carniato, Rachel Cole, Alie Coste, Jade Coutts, Kristian Crowe, Todd Dewberry, Rodney Dobson, Samantha Dodemaide, Laura Field, Zoy Frangos, Ashleigh Gurnett, Kate Maree Hoolihan, Georgina Hopson, Thomas Johansson, Kathleen Moore, Thern Reynolds, Christopher Scalzo, David Sirianni, Tod Strike, Simon Tichelaar, Dean Vince, Rachael Ward and Paul Whiteley.
The production will include 18 very talented children all hailing from Melbourne. The young actors are Chelsey Abela (aged 8, Pascoe Vale South), Sebastian Astill (10, Prahran), Jasper Budd (9, Canterbury), Summer Bush (9, Ferntree Gully), Lucas Calzado-Yubero (11, Cheltenham), Jennah Coleman (8, Moonee Ponds), Aaron David (9, Sunbury), Marissa Enderby (9, Ivanhoe East), Katie Gorczynski (8, Lower Plenty), Christina Ivas (10, Lower Templestowe), Maisy Lester-Bryant (8, Northcote), Olivia Lupacchini (9, North Balwyn), Nathaniel Mitchell (10, Rosanna), Madeline Nesci (10, Templestowe), Aidan Synan (10, Moonee Ponds), Kershawn Theodore (10, Keysborough), Hannah Wing (10, Essendon) and Ruby Young (10, Donvale).
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA is iconic, with more than 20 major awards to its credit including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Musical, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.
Featuring some of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's best loved songs including 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', 'On This Night of a Thousand Stars', 'You Must Love Me' and 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall', EVITA charts the story of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the 'spiritual leader of the nation'.
Venue: State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne Season: Until March 2019
Performance Times: Tues 6.30pm, Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm & Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm
Price: From $59.90*
Bookings: evitathemusical.com.au or artscentremelbourne.com.au or 1300 182 183
Running Time: 2.5 hours including interval
Review: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA is truly an iconic production that completely warranted a standing ovation, from a full State Theatre, on opening night. It is essential you do not miss the chance to see this superior production, currently in Melbourne.
The story of EVITA is purely song driven, as the opening number sets the tale, Che beautifully narrates the musical allowing the plot to be driven forward, easily, alongside the great use of real life imagery shown, above the stage.
Tina Arena's portray of Eva Perón is nothing short of phenomenal; showcasing her breathtaking voice together with sheer passion and incredible costume changes which often occurred, on stage; audience are left in awe of Arena's abundant talent. There is no doubt Arena is the perfect choice for this glamorous and moving representation of the rise and ultimate downfall of EVITA.
A notable scene showcases how Juan Perón came to power with a standout musical chair-esque number contrasted against the violent imagery shown, above. Whilst the stunning period costumes are used as symbolism the audience often laughed at the somewhat comic portrayal of Eva Perón's indiscretions by the ensemble of military and upper class.
The production ends almost abruptly, leaving the audience wanting more and almost forcing further research into the story of Eva Perón.