Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

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Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:07 pm

In my opinion, this show is the pinnacle of Tim Rice's and ALW's respective careers.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Rialto_Chatter_Elena_Roger_to_Lead_EVITA_on_Broadway_in_20112012_Season_20100209 <-- I really, REALLY hope this is true. If it is, then I am definitely flying over. I saw the revival with Elena five times and loved every minute of it. She made the show and earned her place alongside La LuPone and La Paige as one of the best Evas...ever!

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  operafantomet on Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:15 pm

If that is true: hoooray! I'm just surprised it took so long. It was talk of the West End production being transferred to Broadway when it closed in London, but nothing ever happened. I seriously hope this will happen.

And I agree that Tim Rice is a big part of "Evita". It was he who dug out the Eva Peron character and insisted on making a musical about her. ALW has always admitted he thought Eva Peron was a bitch, but Time Rice's reply is priceless (if it's true): "I know she's a bitch, but make her a wonderful bitch" or something up that alley. Still, I think it's one of ALW's best score to dates, and it proves that musicals can both be about political issues and be through-composed without loosing the musical theatre nerve. In one aspect I do agree with ALW: musicals which has highly separate songs and dialogue, do tend to have these awkward moments before the song numbers come up. You know a song is coming, and there's no way to make the transition natural...

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Paula74 on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:35 am

Well, I have been just dying for an Evita revival...it's definitely one of my favorite ALW shows.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:05 am

operafantomet wrote:And I agree that Tim Rice is a big part of "Evita". It was he who dug out the Eva Peron character and insisted on making a musical about her. ALW has always admitted he thought Eva Peron was a bitch, but Time Rice's reply is priceless (if it's true): "I know she's a bitch, but make her a wonderful bitch" or something up that alley.

Yep, that's exactly what he said.

In the words of Tim Rice's ex, Lady Jane Rice:

"It categorically is not an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It was Tim Rice's idea in the first place; all the initial research in 1974 was done by him, and every word of the show was written by him."

She wrote that to a UK newspaper when they lazily wrote something like "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita", and yes, this was after their separation. I can see her point. This was one show--indeed, the LAST show--where all ALW ever did was work on the score AND NOTHING ELSE. And that's the reason for why it's such a great piece, because he didn't go all control-freaky and start messing about with other stuff that would take his attention from the score. Tim Rice pretty much says that in his autobiography. It was Tim who even did all the promotion for the show--I don't think Andrew even turned up for most of the major openings around the world.

IIRC Lady Jane Rice, who was working as a secretary of something sort when she met Tim Rice, left a message on her typewriter in her office in 1974 that read: "Gone to Buenos Aires with Tim Rice". That's when they went to do all the initial research...which was incredibly difficult because Perón was back in power again at the time! Believe it or not, ALW hadn't even gone to Argentina until 2005/6 when he was working on reorchestrating the score for the revival.

The 'problem'--unfortunately for Rice--is that ALW had two massive hits post-Evita, namely Cats and Phantom, which were the shows that secured his fame in the US. And consequently, when it once was the case that the two men were synonymous and were equally famous, ALW's profile shot up and Tim Rice got left in the dark. But notice how in every single show Rice collaborated with ALW on, because they were all Tim Rice's ideas, inc. JCS and Joseph (the only one being ALW's idea was The Likes of Us, which was never even produced as it wasn't very good), Rice still rightly gets first credit. In all the subsequent shows, the show have even been TITLED "ALW's The Phantom of the Opera, "ALW's Sunset Blvd" etc...and the average person probably has no clue as to who wrote the lyrics. Even today many people mistakenly believe Rice wrote the lyrics to Phantom!

When a US paper, I think the New York Times, similarly wrote "Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd", Sondheim wrote them a letter asking them to acknowledge Hugh Wheeler's contribution as well and to stop being so lazy in their journalism. Would that ALW did the same...

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:57 am

The funny thing is, Sondheim is much more responsible for his own shows than is ALW, since Sondheim does his own lyrics, which are what really make his songs.

I'm not going to deride ALW for getting more involved in the book-writing and other creative aspects in the '80s, since Phantom was probably more his creation than anything else he's ever done, and it's a genius, passionate work. But he just doesn't have the touch anymore when it comes to anything, really--songwriting, picking good creative partners, casting, etc. It's not the magic of the '80s British mega-musical anymore. Boublil and Schonberg lost it too.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:40 pm

If this is true, I need to start planning a revisit to NYC! Very Happy

http://www.nypost.com/f/print/entertainment/theater/evita_to_repeat_B6mC9LrNA5nkF4oJqpefPP

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Paula74 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:59 pm

I hope it's true and that an Evita revival IS coming...but I'm not really liking the idea of even asking Ricky Martin to play Che!

(Josh Young from the Walnut Street's Les Miz is playing Che at Stratford and I'm very curious to see how he does.)

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:24 pm

Please no Ricky Martin. I'd rather see Antonio Banderas.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  phantom10906 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:35 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Please no Ricky Martin. I'd rather see Antonio Banderas.

As would I. From what I have heard, he is talking about returning to the stage. I think he would be a much better choice and sell a lot more tickets.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Paula74 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:37 pm

I wouldn't mind Antonia Banderas at all. I'm not too big a fan of him in general...like some of his movies, others not so much.

But I did like him a lot in the Evita movie...he was one of my favorite things about the film. (Loved the general visual feel of the movie, but didn't care for Madonna at all).

I'd rather they did NOT stunt cast, but if they go that route...he's not a bad choice.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  operafantomet on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:40 pm

Paula74 wrote:I wouldn't mind Antonia Banderas at all. I'm not too big a fan of him in general...like some of his movies, others not so much.

But I did like him a lot in the Evita movie...he was one of my favorite things about the film.
Agreed, I actually like him a lot as Che, and would pay good money to see him do the role on stage.

Ricky Martin, not so much...

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  IamErik771 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:03 pm

I love this show even though I've never seen it onstage... I've heard a bunch of the cast recordings (including a couple foreign-language ones) and am consistently impressed with the quality of the music, lyrics, and casts. Although POTO is my sentimental favorite, I think Evita is technically the best of ALW's scores. And yeah, I quite liked the film version as well, though there were quite a few songs/scenes I missed from the stage version, and I didn't agree with them changing it so that Magaldi was the one who left Eva.

And yeah, I think I agree with the majority here that I'd rather see Antonio Banderas than Ricky Martin as Ché onstage. Though I am glad that they're planning on doing this show in the US again... Maybe I'll get a chance to see it! Very Happy

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ML6 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:15 pm

So booking tickets to see this. Mhm.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Christine's Shadow on Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:18 am

Paula74 wrote:

(Josh Young from the Walnut Street's Les Miz is playing Che at Stratford and I'm very curious to see how he does.)

After Les Mis I was determined to see Josh at some point. I already have my tickets to see it in Stratford. They did so well with Forum and WSS last year that I'm eager to see how the seasons can compare. Aaaaand Josh is really pretty. Very Happy

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Paula74 on Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:11 pm

Christine's Shadow wrote:
Paula74 wrote:

(Josh Young from the Walnut Street's Les Miz is playing Che at Stratford and I'm very curious to see how he does.)

After Les Mis I was determined to see Josh at some point. I already have my tickets to see it in Stratford. They did so well with Forum and WSS last year that I'm eager to see how the seasons can compare. Aaaaand Josh is really pretty. Very Happy

I'm so damned jealous. What a Face

Anyhow, decided to peek back into this thread because I watched part of the movie last night. If I'd realized it was on, I'd have watched the whole thing...but I picked it up just around the Rainbow Tour. And I still don't like Madonna's performance. She looks the part, but like a paper doll in a succession of lovely costumes. I still like the rest of the movie, though...visually, it's very nice and I still like Antonio's Che, though I'm not exactly a fan of him in general.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ML6 on Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:51 am

Paula74 wrote:

Anyhow, decided to peek back into this thread because I watched part of the movie last night. If I'd realized it was on, I'd have watched the whole thing...but I picked it up just around the Rainbow Tour. And I still don't like Madonna's performance. She looks the part, but like a paper doll in a succession of lovely costumes. I still like the rest of the movie, though...visually, it's very nice and I still like Antonio's Che, though I'm not exactly a fan of him in general.

See, when I compare Phantom to Evita (movies), I think the flow and the acting is better in Evita. But as a whole, I don't really like the Evita film all that much. :/ I think it's because they had Tim Rice get rid of all the political lines that trashed Evita for them to film it in Argentina. So it's Evita-lite. Razz

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Sun May 09, 2010 11:53 am

See, when I compare Phantom to Evita (movies), I think the flow and the acting is better in Evita. But as a whole, I don't really like the Evita film all that much. :/ I think it's because they had Tim Rice get rid of all the political lines that trashed Evita for them to film it in Argentina. So it's Evita-lite.

"Evita-lite" is a very concise way of describing the movie. Alas, the removal of all the politics was the trade-off for getting to film in Buenos Aires and using the real Casa Rosada for the balcony scene (which they wouldn't have got if Madonna hadn't insisted on speaking to the Argentine president in person). Note that the stage version is still banned in Argentina. It's still a much better film than Phantom (but in the words of Che, "that's not hard"), particularly in terms of performances. But as Patti LuPone pretty much said, they cut the balls off of Eva and the whole thing was fatally watered down. Not just in terms of the politics, but also the score; the thrill of those ridiculous keys was lost so that Madonna could sing it. The whole thing sort of falls apart after Eva gets to Buenos Aires in the film; it starts feeling like an überlong music video for MTV with offscreen narration and a load of newspapers swirling around on screen. I'm not quite sure what Parker could have done, though. IMHO the genre of the movie musical is inevitably flawed anyway and I don't like musicals on film. Evita works best as political theatre.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Paula74 on Sun May 09, 2010 12:18 pm

Scorp wrote:it starts feeling like an überlong music video

Very true.

One change that always irks me a lot is taking "Another Suitcase In Another Hall" from Peron's mistress and giving it to Eva, presumably so Queen Madge would get another song and so the spotlight wouldn't be on another woman in HER film, even for a few minutes.

I've seen that change cause confusion with some people who don't realize that Peron had other women. I've seen more than one on-line comment like, "Why was Evita so mean to Peron's daughter? Eva was soooooo caring and good, but I can't understand why she would throw Peron's daughter out?"

His daughter?

Suspect Rolling Eyes

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Sun May 09, 2010 1:02 pm

Paula74 wrote:

I've seen that change cause confusion with some people who don't realize that Peron had other women. I've seen more than one on-line comment like, "Why was Evita so mean to Peron's daughter? Eva was soooooo caring and good, but I can't understand why she would throw Peron's daughter out?"

His daughter?

Suspect Rolling Eyes

Haha, compare that with Hal Prince's original production, where, while Eva is away on her Rainbow Tour, Perón is sat on stage with two barely nubile girls on his lap...

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:16 pm

Looks like I'm going to have start planning a trip to New York... Cool

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/ricky-martin-elena-roger-set-to-join-evita-revival/

Somewhat doubt Hal Prince is happy since he's said repeatedly over the last few years how he'd love to revive his own production of it on Broadway (but the likelihood of that seemed to out the window when the recent US Tour of his version failed to go to Broadway), but Michael Grandage's production is still gorgeous, even if completely different from Hal's.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ML6 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:13 pm

Scorp wrote:Looks like I'm going to have start planning a trip to New York... Cool

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/ricky-martin-elena-roger-set-to-join-evita-revival/

Somewhat doubt Hal Prince is happy since he's said repeatedly over the last few years how he'd love to revive his own production of it on Broadway (but the likelihood of that seemed to out the window when the recent US Tour of his version failed to go to Broadway), but Michael Grandage's production is still gorgeous, even if completely different from Hal's.

And I got to experience that Tour (unfortunately, they weren't selling brochures...). I did like his, it was really politically styled (if that makes any sense?). But, I think I want to experience this show in it's new format, and with Elena and dare I say it Ricky Martin. I've heard him as Marius, he's actually pretty good. I can see his High, Flying Adored! sounding amazing.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:15 am

I'm a little wary of Ricky Martin, though more open-minded than previously. I wonder who will play Peron.

Why is this not opening until spring 2012? Seems a far way off for the casting already to be announced.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:52 pm

I attended a public interview with Elena Roger today. The theatre critic Mark Shenton was the interviewer and it was held at the Donmar, where the superb production of Passion is playing its final week. Most of the interview centred around Elena's background in Argentina and her time in Evita, Piaf and Passion (and I can personally say she did a fantastic job in all three). At the end of the interview they took questions from the audience, so yours truly decided to ask her about Evita on Broadway. I asked if she would approach it differently and reinvestigate the character and possibly play it differently. She said she hoped to do a lot more research this time round (not that she didn't last time) and read even more biographies of Eva Perón. She said it was more likely her performance would have changed for this role than it did for Piaf when that transferred around the world with her given the delay for Evita, but ultimately her interpretation would depend on what Michael Grandage chooses to do. I wonder whether anything major will be changed. Critically the show could not have received better reviews when it opened in London (to date the best reviews ALW and Tim Rice have ever got for anything), but I suppose they will want to make sure that financially the show has a better chance of surviving, since the London production's run was not as long as was hoped for. Apparently she's contracted for a year on Broadway. Can't wait.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ML6 on Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:58 am

I'm so excited to return to NY for this! [And to see it with you, Scorp, heh.]

Wonderful question asked, by the way! Hopefully Elena doesn't think you're stalking her.

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:16 am

I second the greatness of the Evita revival. I think it was a successful combination of the minimalistic origins, the grandious later versions and (dare I say it) the Latin flair of the movie. It's the most expensive theatre tickets I've bought to date (it was the summer of 2006, just about a month after the premiere). But boy was it worth it.

I know I'm a bit slow, but I actually wasn't aware that they still worked on transferring the production. I though it was like Tim Rice's eternal talk of a Chess revival - good idea, but never to happen. But this sounds a lot more concrete. Very Happy

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:33 pm

No, it's all set. Ricky Martin's ready to go. Laughing

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ladygodiva on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:30 pm

I found an interesting old VHS video Tim Rice Lyrics, it had complete music videos of Don't Cry for me Argentina, sung by Eliane Paige, Salva Regina with David Essexs, High Flying Adored with Colm Wilkenson,Another Suitecase in another hall with David Essexs and Barbra Dickenson

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ML6 on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:44 am

ladygodiva wrote:I found an interesting old VHS video Tim Rice Lyrics, it had complete music videos of Don't Cry for me Argentina, sung by Eliane Paige, Salva Regina with David Essexs, High Flying Adored with Colm Wilkenson,Another Suitecase in another hall with David Essexs and Barbra Dickenson

Some of those clips are up on YouTube. I've never seen the Another Suitcase in Another Hall one though!

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  Scorp on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:51 pm

ML6 wrote:Hopefully Elena doesn't think you're stalking her.

Too late for that I fear...Laughing

For anyone interested, someone's uploaded the television film from 1981 called Evita Perón starring Faye Dunaway (who incidentally was the one who presented Patti with her Tony Award for the role). The credits at the end stress that the screenplay was not remotely based on the musical, but clearly it was, as it follows it very closely. And of course it came out when Evita mania was rife all over the world. Here's the link to the first part (of twenty): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6mVGVsHYiY

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Re: Tim Rice & ALW's EVITA

Post  ladygodiva on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:33 am

I was looking at my vhs collection and I saw an interesting BBC the Southbank show with Eliane Paige, it has a rather large portion devoted to Evita,

Elaine went to Argentina and met with some people who revered the actual Eva Peron. and Elaine visited Eva at the graveyard, interesting.

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