Revival of Evita at Adelphi from 2 June 2006

Revival of Evita at Adelphi from 2 June 2006

At a press launch in London today (31 Jan) Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Really Useful Theatre Company confirmed the return of the musical Evita to the West End after an absence of some 21 years, opening at the Adelphi Theatre 21 June 2006, following previews from 2 June - booking to 21 Oct 2006. Starring Elena Roger, Philip Quast, Matt Rawle

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The show will be directed by Michael Grandage - artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, and director of shows such as ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Don Carlos’ and ‘The Wild Duck’. André Ptaszynski will produce the show for Really Useful Theatre Company .

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber began work on ‘Evita’ back in 1974. The musical is based on the life and times of Eva Perón, wife of Argentine dictator Juan Perón. It eventually opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1978, setting the record for the highest box office advance in West End history, and ran for 7 years.

Asked why he wanted to direct ‘Evita’, Michael Grandage said he considered it to be one of the great musicals of the 20th century, and is relishing the opportunity to give the show a new look.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said "One of the reasons that I felt I wanted to be involved in the production was to relook at the orchestration. "He added he was delighted to welcome Grandage and his team, describing Evita as "the pinnacle of my collaboration with Tim Rice".

Lloyd Webber confirmed that the production will include the Oscar-winning song "You Must Love Me" which was created for Alan Parker’s film version in 1996.

Argentinean-born discovery, Elena Roger , will take the lead as Eva Peron, and we were given a taste of what is to come when Roger's, accompanied by Lloyd Webber on the piano, performed an impromptu version of ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ (probably the best-known number from the show). Rogers gave a surprisingly moving rendition. Her voice has an exciting and haunting Latin resonance to it, which certainly brought a refreshing quality to a well-worn song. So, it looks like fans of the show might be in for a treat, especially since the creative team seem intent on bringing a revitalised show to the West End, rather than simply producing a copy of the original.

Other casting features Matt Rawle as Che, and Philip Quast as General Juan Peron.

The show will be designed by Christopher Oram, and Choreographed by Rob Ashford. Lighting by Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter. The musical supervisor will be Simon Lee.

Evita follows the tale of Eva Peron, who, though never an elected official, became a powerful political figure in Argentina following her marriage to President Juan Peron, until her death of cancer aged 33 in 1952.

(Report by Peter Brown, with additional information by Darren Dalglish)

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