Evita, Musical Theater


“Evita” is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.   The production is the true story based on the events leading to the rise of power of Juan Peron and Eva Peron’s in Argentina.   Starting as a young girl who looses her father, Eva, played by Madonna, is later shown as a young woman hungry for fame and power sleeping her way to the top of society.   In the song “Goodnight and Thank You,” Eva explains her tossing away of men by explaining that she’s “hoping [her] lover will help them or keep them, support them, promote them.”   Throughout the show we see characters exploit each other and the use of Eva’s new found fame as a powerful instrument.   The musical has a theme of media manipulation, the public starvation for icons that are larger than life, and the power of image.   As reflected by the narrator Che, played by Antonio Banderas, “Why try to govern a country when you can become a saint.”  
Rice and Webber chose to make “Evita” an opera-like musical, with no dialogue until the last line of the show.   The show has a more somber tone than most Broadway shows, and the operetta style gives it a more epic feel.   As it relates to the theme of the public starvation for people who are larger than life, her continual singing gives her a grandiose facade.   Evita seems to have an innate knowledge of the power of image.   As she introduces herself to Buenos Aires she boldly proclaims “Stand back, you oughta know whatcha gonna get in me, Just a little touch of star quality.”   Her knowledge of image is also shown by her social climbing through men and the upper class arrogance she gains with ascending of each rung.   Webber and Rice use song to progress the story as we see Evita passing up one man for another to take to her bedroom in the song “Goodnight and Thank You.”   Che, the narrator who loosely represents Che Guevara and the everyman with an independent viewpoint, breaks down the fourth wall to the audience.   Che’s mocking lyrics further the theme of...