October 17, 2012  //  By:   //  Musicals, Reviews  //  Comments are off

Wilma’s Rating [rating=3]

The Tony award winning show Evita, which originally opened in London’s West End in 1978 (and Broadway the year after) is back on Broadway starring the gorgeous, Grammy Award winner RICKY MARTIN. Playing along side Ricky is Olivier Award winner ELENA ROGER, who played the role of Eva in London’s 2006 revival (and is the first Argentinian actress to play the role of Evita on Broadway).

Having never seen the show, I thought I would go and check out the latest Broadway revival whilst I was there last week!

The show begins in 1952 with the heartbreaking death of Eva Peron and then goes back in time to tell the story of her life. She meets a tango singer and blackmails him to take her to Argentina where she seeks fame and fortune. Eva sings about her hopes and dreams in the upbeat classic song Buenos Aires.  Eventually Eva realises she has fallen in love, her priorities change and she asks the people of the country to forgive her and let her lead them in the well known song Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. When Eva falls ill she is forced to give up her political status and is left reflecting on her life and the choices she has made.

Elena Roger plays the role with passion but sadly the speed at which the dialogue is delivered, mixed with the Argentinian accent, makes it difficult to follow what is being sung.

I was pleasantly surprised with Ricky Martin’s performance of Che. The huge pop icon who has sold more than 60 million albums, draws the crowds in night after night (and causes a stir at the stage door after the show, with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the hunky singer). He performed well, although his role of narrator does not have as much substance to it. This is not Ricky’s first stint on Broadway, In 1996 he played the role of Marius in Les Miserables.

I’m glad I saw this show whilst in New York but I think, given the current cast, it would be best to give the soundtrack a few listens before going to see the show to avoid the risk of not knowing what is happening at times.