Friday, August 13, 2010

I Heart EVITA

So, I'm a little obsessed with EVITA (Thank you, New Line Theatre).  Yes, I know -- I'm quite late to the party.  I know this thing has been around for forever, but this happens every now and again (okay, it happens a lot) when I see a show that I've never seen before, and fall in love with the music and/or the story. In this case I fell for both.

I got the Original Broadway Cast Recording in the mail a few days ago, and have been listening to the piss out of it.  With very little dialogue, this rock opera has such a mix of styles I never get bored.

Okay, bear with me -- one of the first songs in the show, “Requiem for Evita/Oh, What a Circus”, is a great example.  In this song, Che (our cynical narrator) begins by reflecting on the hysterics that ensue in Argentina after the announcement of Eva Perón’s passing.
Okay, here we go...

- After the opening "Requiem", which is very requiemy... requiemesque... requiemish...? you hear for the first time the most recognizable leitmotif in the show at 3min. 03sec.
- Later, it goes into this kind of contemporary rock thing (well, contemporary for the 70's) at 5min. 22sec.  Che is angry...
- That goes right into this beautiful choral action a minute later at 6min. 22sec.
- And my favorite, they bust out into some orchestral splendor after which I immediately get chills at 7min 08sec. Yay tympani!!
- Oh yeah, and then Patti LuPone sings right around 8min., repeating the musical theme we hear Che sing at the beginning that's carried through that orchestral part.



The musical themes are so distinct that after a short while, when you hear them you immediately feel a sense of familiarity.  Like Les Miz or Sweeney Todd.  You know what those themes are connected to, and that always pulls me deeper into the story.  Love...  Not only that, but the show really seems to do justice to the weight of Eva's life, instead of relying on some cliche ending to bring it all together at the end -- like the unfortunate PIRATE QUEEN.

*sigh*  THE PIRATE QUEEN...  Oh well, that's another post.

Thanks for reading!   Until next time...

5 comments:

  1. When I had the chance to see this in person it completely BLEW ME AWAY...it was the first Broadway musical I ever saw in NYC and I was SOOOO fortunate to see the original cast...Mandy, Patty, etc! Its strange...I always say I'm not a huge fan of musicals but I've learned recently that maybe I am a bigger fan than I let on. I still love drama much more than musicals but there is a sizeable portion of my heart that really likes to just sing along!!!

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  2. See, dat's what I'm talkin' about! Thanks for your comment, Robyn! I just really got into the theatre thing around 2004 (late bloomer), so I always feel like there's a lot of catching up to do, but this one blew me away, too. However, singing along is strictly prohibited...
    :D

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  3. Oh we must go to some musicals then...I think my finances will allow this indulgence some time soon! And hopefully a fun trip to NYC some day!

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  4. Andrea, take a listen to the very first EVITA recording with Julie Covington and Colm Wilkinson from 1976 (the white cover), made before anyone had staged it -- http://amzn.to/9nOjek

    I love the Broadway cast album (and saw the original in NYC), but this first recording is so much more rock and roll, and it's what inspired us at New Line to take the show on. The '76 version is definitely my favorite now.

    And I hope you'll come see "I Love My Wife," Sept. 30-Oct. 23 -- very cool, quirky, jazz musical about wife swapping. :) http://www.newlinetheatre.com/wifepage.html

    And come visit me on my blog -- http://newlinetheatre.blogspot.com/

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  5. Ooo... I've heard about that concept album. I'll have to check into that! And Scott, you KNOW I'll be at I LOVE MY WIFE! And, I love your blog. Thanks for reading!

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