Theatrical Pick of the Week: What’s new, Buenos Aires?
By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 22, 2004 1:01PM
When it comes to vintage Broadway musicals (well, vintage in the “Andrew Lloyd Webber late-’70s imported pop-opera crapfest” sense), Evita rocks the top of our chart. Subtle it ain’t, nor is it the smartest show in the world, but it’s chock full of catchy kitschy tunes, and sometimes that’s all we can handle at the end of a dreary workweek. And where else can you see three honest-to-God historical figurines—post-World War II Argentine president Juan Peron, his actress/social climber wife Eva, and communist revolutionary Che Guevara—singing at each other in faux-Latin accents to quasi-disco rhythms onstage?
That’s right, kids: nowhere.
So don’t cry for me, Argentina, just get your tails on down to the Auditorium Theatre while you can. It’s been eons since a national tour of Evita made the rounds, and we’re curious to see how the old girl is holding up.
For the uninitiated, the mostly factual storyline chronicles the rise of scrappy Eva Duarte from D-list actress in the sticks to beloved (read: corrupt) international icon as first lady of Argentina. All scored to Sir Andrew’s tango-flavored pre-Phantom stylings and Tim Rice’s pre-Elton John lyrics, of course.
This 25th anniversary tour is being touted as a restaging of the original Broadway production, supervised by original director Hal Prince, and while we’re not sure that means much to anybody but us fans of Hal Prince, it’s apparently considered a selling point by the folks who manage the Broadway in Chicago series. Hey, whatever it takes.
Bets are pretty good that leading lady Kathy Voytko (previously seen on the Chicago boards in Brigadoon and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) can top Madonna’s uninspired, soft-focus 1996 screen version, but can she out-diva Tony winner Patti LuPone? Word from the Boston opening wasn’t so hot, but we’ll be judging for ourselves from the first balcony Friday night.
Playing at the Auditorium through November 28; get your tickets at the box office or through Ticketmaster, or call 312-902-1400.