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Evita LA Tour Review

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karatekid1
Stand-by
joined:4/29/06
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 06:14pm
Last night, I attended the Evita Tour at the Pantages Theater in LA. I was so excited since I had never seen the show before but am a big fan of Patti, Mandy, and the cast recordings: Before I went in I had listened to some clips of Caroline Bowman singing Rainbow High and blowing it out of the water! I was so excited to see her live last night. As I got to the theater I see on the understudy board I was going to be seeing Desi Oakley instead. I was a little bummed out, but I am pretty posative and hope for the best.

Act I

As the show began Josh Young was really awesome, he has a great singing voice and just an overall good presence as Che. Then Desi came out and her singing was low but pretty. Then when we got to Buenos Aires I was waiting for her to let loose and show the audience what shes got. ...............it never came. She just made the song serviceable and sang, pretty much without belting any of it. This went on for most of the first act and and she even cracked a little during the belted parts of A New Argentina. The audience didnt seem to thrilled with the first act. Side Note, Sean as Peron was very good. Great voice as well.

Act 2.
I was really nervous to hear how she was going to sing don't cry for me...... which again was ok. Very held back. The staging and costumes were great and the lighting for the scene was perfect. She was just ok.

then came the moment I was waiting for....... Rainbow High. I had always wanted to see this live. And with Caroline it sounded spectacular on YouTube. Desi did it ok, again not bad but so weak.

Overall Desi's acting was decently good, and her best song was You Must love me.


In the end Evita showed me that what is a great show, with great music, can be brought down so much without a super strong leading lady.

I admire Desi for trying but someone as alternate should be able to match Caroline.

Did anyone see both of them and have comments.

Updated On: 11/8/13 at 06:14 PM
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 06:32pm
Yeah, You don't see any Eva's belting out the score like Lupone and Ackerman anymore. Evita is an insanely challenging vocal role and most Eva's pace themselves more, and go into head voice so they don't blowout their vocal chords before the 2nd act. Songs like "Buenos Aires" and "Rainbow High" really just seem to be lacking in Tenacity, fire and vocal strength these days.

If you go in with the mindset that you are going to hear soaring riffs and huge belting for 2 and half hours then you will be disappointed. What you will hear is Evas with pretty voices singing songs in head voice that were meant to be sung in chest voice with an almost shrieking sound to it. The Evas in the revival and tour have no bite to them. They don't make Evita like they used to



So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
Updated On: 11/8/13 at 06:32 PM
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 06:33pm
I was planning on catching this last Sunday night, but Caroline was out and thought I would wait to see it at Costa Mesa from the 10th Dec onwards.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 06:51pm
Has Caroline Bowman been out a lot?
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JoseLee_
Stand-by
joined:5/24/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 06:57pm
Caroline Bowman plays in every performance except on Saturday Matinees & Sunday Evening on the ENTIRE TOUR RUN. In case anyone wanted to know. I've seen the tour 2 times with Caroline and once with Desi. And seeing it tonight for the last time before the tour leaves LA. I love seeing shows multiple times if they're good and this one is AMAZING!!! I've never felt so much emotion from a show like this one. Great casting... (if you see Caroline) Desi is good too but she won't blow you away. Caroline Bowman has a voice of an angel. YES, SHE CAN ACTUALLY BELT & HIT THOSE HIGH NOTES. People need to stop going to the show and expecting her to sound like PATTI; we all love her but everyone should give her a chance.. leave the judgement at home & try to enjoy show. LOVE CAROLINE but OMG JOSH YOUNG. I'll just let you guys find that out for yourselves. He's yet to miss a show. And he sings soooo goood. If you have a chance to see the show & don't you'll regret it so much. Josh was tony nominated in 2012 and now I know why. I can see him winning a tony in the future.



Updated On: 11/8/13 at 06:57 PM
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karatekid1
Stand-by
joined:4/29/06
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:03pm
ya that was the best way to describe Desi, she was fine, serviceable, but she did not blow me, my girlfriend, or any of the audience away at all. The two men were much stronger than she was. I dont know, I just wanted a fiery, Eva, who would bring the house down, she didnt need to sound like Patti, just I wasnt expecting a "pretty head voice" on the lines that should have been belted.
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karatekid1
Stand-by
joined:4/29/06
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:05pm
and in addition, I believe that we should be able to get a refund, or an exchange for a role like Eva, even if the name is not above the title. But im happy to hear from you guys that Caroline is the real deal and her voice busts the theater!
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:19pm
"People need to stop going to the show and expecting her to sound like PATTI"

No one is asking her to sound like Patti, but what people are expecting is those crazy notes belted. Evita changed belting for women in musical theatre, and most are still lovesick on the original broadway cast recording and their experience seeing EVITA live with Patti, Loni, Florence and all the other 80's Evita's.The songs don't really pop unless you have some fierce woman belting her heart out. That's why people fell in love with Patti Lupne's Evita.

So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
Updated On: 11/8/13 at 07:19 PM
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karatekid1
Stand-by
joined:4/29/06
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:26pm
N2N I couldn't have said it better!

To me that belting is a major part of Evita
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JoseLee_
Stand-by
joined:5/24/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:27pm
Patti didn't always sound as good as on the cast recording. So unless you actually saw her live then you can judge. Patti in Evita & Idina in Wicked are the most annoying discussions to fight about.. YES they were amazing, YES they are the original.. if your a theatre-nerd/lover/whatever it gets really annoying hearing the same topics. At the end of the day: if you just love to hate; don't see Evita because your just wasting your money & the actress doesn't deserve your negative criticism.
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 07:37pm
"Patti didn't always sound as good as on the cast recording"

She sounded better than the cast recording in her later run of the show. But yes, Patti did struggle with the score in the beginning of her run and even she said she was screaming through a role she couldn't sing.

"So unless you actually saw her live then you can judge"

Umm isn't that what you just did when you said she didn't sound as good on the cast recording?

This has nothing to do with being the original person or being Idina. All I am saying is, Evita was sung differently back in the 80's and now it is sung with a bit more caution on the voice.

No i don't love to hate, in fact, I was very impressed with Caroline. Her "Rainbow High" is chilling. No one is hating on anything, calm down.
So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
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Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 08:14pm
Patti's Eva had a toughness to her. Caroline's Eva had a certain bitchiness to her -- I wouldn't trust that person. I've loved Patti as Eva for years but I loved Caroline even more (not to mention she's gorgeous). Some scenes seemed to lack energy but it could've been an off night when I saw them or could be attributed to the direction. Evita is a flawed musical but this is still overall a wonderful production. I understand that some people are attached to the original staging but I enjoyed seeing Evita this way. Elena was good in London but it didn't translate well on Broadway. Ricky was beautiful to look at… let's leave it at that. Part of me wishes the revival had opened on Broadway with Caroline and Josh in the lead roles. Oh what a show that would have been.
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 08:18pm
Another thing that lacks in the current productions of EVITA are the songs are played way too slow. Caroline sounded brilliant in "Rainbow High" but the tempo of the song sucked all the life out of that classic riveting number.
So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
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gavyj
Stand-by
joined:11/9/11
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/8/13 at 11:47pm
Perfect explanation, N2N. Without that strong belting it isn't the same musical. We need Evas who sound like they are doing everything they can to be heard/recognized/remembered. They need to have a drive towards Star Quality.
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/9/13 at 12:44am
Patti has a fire to her that a lot of actresses can't match. Musical theater actors/actresses have become so bland nowadays.

I heard Patti sing "Rainbow High" at 54 Below last New Years and she sounded incredible.
evic
Broadway Star
joined:3/5/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/9/13 at 12:06pm
The problem with this revival is the direction. Eva needs to be a powerhouse, full of sex and charisma, and strength and portrayed so that it is believable that the millions in her country would worship her. I don't think the director read the lyrics. The most pitiful staging, besides the boring opening is Rainbow High, which is so dull and lifeless and whoever designed the costume for that number loved buttons...there is a clip on youtube of Elena doing it and it was sadly-dull. Patti came downstage like a bull shot out of a cannon and no one can top her performance, though Loni and Flo came pretty close. Caroline does indeed look beautiful.
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/9/13 at 12:18pm
Couldn't agree more, evic. I believe you are talking about this video of Elena Roger doing RAINBOW HIGH:

http://youtu.be/b3R9HbHQQyM

Just dreadful.

Here is an insightful interview of Caroline talking about the vocal demands of the show. She jump roped to Buenos Aires in rehearsal to build the stamina:http://youtu.be/PheoLeSMVEo



So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
Updated On: 11/9/13 at 12:18 PM
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Marlothom
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/9/13 at 12:54pm
I saw this in Chicago and "well paced" is a good way to describe Bowman's performance. I was expecting more - she came to life during Rainbow High, but then there was tons of mix/head voice. I thought Young was fantastic. I had not seen the show before and I found the ending a tad overdone ("we get it, she died!").
"Observe how bravely I conceal this dreadful dreadful shame I feel."
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Chowd95
Swing
joined:7/16/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/10/13 at 12:46am
Saw this in St. Louis a month or so ago. My mom and I agreed that Caroline was not a great Evita, but she wasn't terrible. The show really did bowl me over, though, thanks to Josh Young, the set and the lighting. I could listen to Josh Young sing all day, that dude has some pipes and a great stage presence for being what I can only call "petite".

And the set, which didn't really change much during the show, was able to become so many different places with the help of some beautiful lighting. It was really spectacular to see, esp for a touring show. The days of seeing Broadway caliber sets on tour, like Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, The Secret Garden, City of Angels (a few of my faves) are sadly few and far between.

Was really surprised by this show, and TBH I had the music on a constant loop in my head for a week or two afterwards. Almost to the point of driving me crazy, lol.



Updated On: 11/10/13 at 12:46 AM
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CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/10/13 at 12:23pm
Anyone has to be better than Madonna, and I'm including Elena Roger into that mix because the worst Eva I have ever heard was Madonna. Talk about lifeless.

I pity any actress taking on the role getting compared to Patti and Elaine just goes with the territory.

trpguyy
Broadway Star
joined:2/25/05
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 12:04am
Am I the only one who thinks Patti does not sound good in this (or any) role?
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 02:33am
^Yes.
N2N Nate. Profile Photo
N2N Nate.
Broadway Star
joined:7/11/13
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 07:18am
"Anyone has to be better than Madonna, and I'm including Elena Roger into that mix because the worst Eva I have ever heard was Madonna. Talk about lifeless."

So true. Madonna was just awful. She had no ability to sing the score as it was intended and basically botched every number in that film. They were considering Liza and although I can't see her acting the role, she would have knocked it out of the park vocally. I hope someone puts her audition tape online someday, I hear its pretty amazing.
So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes! *wink*
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muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 08:39am
I don't think anyone needs to sound like Patti, she actually sounds dull on the recording. I am sure she sounded much better live. Elena Roger was a tragedy and that video of hers, is great until she opens her mouth. Even Ricky Martin sounds better than her. Christina DeCicco was the best Evita I've ever seen. I've only seen the show live 3 times, once with Elena, once with Christina and once with Sarah Litzinger, who was pretty good. I thought Madonna did ok in the movie, but she was chosen to play the role because she is one of the biggest stars of the planet, not based on her ability to sing the score. Liza auditioned for the role of Eva Peron? Do you have any proof of this? I love Liza but she seems all wrong for this part.

The amazing Christina DeCicco:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNSjST9boIs

"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
Updated On: 11/12/13 at 08:39 AM
muscle23ftl Profile Photo
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 08:44am
Caroline Bowman sounds terrific on some youtube clips...wow!
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
Noel&Cole
Leading Actor
joined:11/10/07
Evita LA Tour Review
Posted: 11/12/13 at 01:27pm
I saw this production during its LA run and the tour cast is WONDERFUL! They are hands down better than the Broadway cast. This is an incredibly beautiful rendition of the score from all singers in the production.

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