Male Evita?

Sally Durant Plummer
Stand-by
joined:8/15/13
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 02:28pm
Do you think it COULD ever work? And I don't mean as a drag role. How do you think audiences would take it? I think if the performer was convincing in the part, it could be great. But if the audience doesn't have an open mind, it would die fast. What do you think audiences would take it today?
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 02:28pm
Why would that ever need to happen in the first place?
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 02:40pm
I would be most intrigued to see a man die of uterine cancer.

Updated On: 4/28/14 at 02:40 PM
JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 02:54pm
I could see a male MAME, a male Witch or a male Reno Sweeney....
And I did see a female Emcee in Cabaret (which was fabulous)
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 02:55pm
In prison, maybe.
Sally Durant Plummer
Stand-by
joined:8/15/13
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:02pm
There are 2 reason why I ask: I happen to believe on gender blind casting (just give me a good performance), and recently saw a production where Che was played by a woman. Certainly brought a different (but no less electric) energy for the Waltz!
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:25pm
How about just an everything-blind cast of INTO THE WOODS. A man could play the witch dressed in a tux, Jack could be a 98 year old woman, Little Red could be a 50 year old burly man, Rapunzel could be a girl in a coma. The possibilities are endless!

Sally Durant Plummer
Stand-by
joined:8/15/13
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:33pm
Jordan - I smell a Tony!
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:33pm
Since it's based on the life of Eva Perón, an actual female person....no.
nomore.org
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:35pm

Updated On: 4/28/14 at 03:35 PM
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 03:35pm
Gender-blind casting gets into a ton of issues of vocal range. The keys would have to be significantly lowered for a man to sing the role, but part of what makes the score so exciting is how high so much of it is, and then it would be very hard to figure out what to do with Eva's duets and numbers involving her and the ensemble. It's been figured out for other shows, but Evita would be a particular nasty challenge.
Sally Durant Plummer
Stand-by
joined:8/15/13
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:00pm
Danny, the second reason I'm asking is for a friend who is thinking of doing the show at an Arts program in California. Unfortunately, there are no particularly strong females other than one - who could not vocally handle the demanding role (however, my friend has told me that if try do the production, he would cast her as Che, to balance it out). He has one performer, a particularly interesting 17 year old with an amazing voice (I would describe him as the only male "belter" I've ever seen), but he is rather, to put it politely, "softer" when he acts (mostly in dialogue scenes). However, the interesting thing about his voice is that he has the range of traditional female "belters" (albeit, an octave lower due to gender), and that, as my friend tells me, can vocally handle the role (the low E in Buenos Aires, the sustained E passages and G flat in A New Argentina). My friend wants to feature him in the production, but the rights to La Cage ere not available (and that opens another can of worms with having a bunch of teenage boys in drag), and this was his best solution. Also, in a workshop involving a College casting director from PCPA, he was (favorably) compared to Idina Menzel (I thought it was interesting he was compared to a female performer, but my friend insisted that's what he said)
Just my own two cents: the boy is very talented, vocally. The last time I visited, they were having a fundraiser tying in with the 50th anniversary of FUNNY GIRL. He sang "The Music That Makes Me Dance" and as an Encore for the fundraiser he (and I was shocked he was this blatantly open at 17) sang "My Man". I was intrigued that he played it not as a gimmick - like "Are you shocked I'm singing this about a man?", which he could have very easily done. He was very truthful and honest, and quite honestly, I would much rather see him in a revival than Lea Michele (although I would rather anyone else play that role). I am only asking for my friend, like I said, I am all for it as long as the performance is good and they are honest and truthful. My only concern is the audience reaction. Although, based on these comments, I'd say not.

Updated On: 4/28/14 at 04:00 PM
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:09pm
My advice would be to work just the tiniest bit harder and find a show that's appropriate for the young guy, rather than making him play a woman. Evita isn't the kind of show that offers a significant pay-off in gender-bending casting.

And the "male belter" voice you describe is nothing unusual in a man; most men have ranges wider than that of the belter (just down an octave).

There are lots and lots and lots of better roles for a young man with a nice baritone voice out there. Your friend shouldn't have to work hard.

Updated On: 4/28/14 at 04:09 PM
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:11pm
If your friend can't cast Evita, he should choose another show that he *can* cast. Could the talented boy in question do How to Succeed or Little Me or Cabaret or Peter Pan or...on and on? Casting a boy as Eva Peron is a hideous idea, IMHO.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:12pm
The problem with *-blind casting is that the audience isn't *-blind. When I lived in San Francisco, it was hard to see any classic show that wasn't messed with in some way.

When I saw The Odd Couple, Felix was black and Murray the cop was played by a butch woman with a flat-top.

What I found was that Felix has some very white, Jewish lines in that play that take the audience out of the performance and have to recalibrate that we are seeing something different than intended.

Similarly when Murray made some crack about having a problem with the ladies, it was no longer the line it was supposed to be, but we had to think that it was a normal line, but now had a different meaning since we knew it was being said by a female actress, who was playing it as a male, etc., etc.

To be clear, both performers were very capable and performed well, but it did take me out of the show, when the *-blind casting clashed with the text.

I suppose if you saw that same show a few times before with old white men, you might want something different. But since I was trying to sort of fill in some classics I never saw before, I felt it got in the way.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:15pm


Nah.


yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:19pm
Did the actor *play* Felix as black? Audra didn't do that in Carousel and it worked perfectly. The audience will forget the color of the actor's skin after five minutes. It will take them all night to forget he/she's a bad actor. Unless race is a plot point, cast the best actor you have for the role.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:23pm
No, he didn't play him as black. It just seemed to be a very white, Jewish show, so it seemed disconnected to me.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:28pm

When do we start making suggestions for the part?

I nominate Dina Martina solely based upon looks.

Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
Steve721
Stand-by
joined:2/21/14
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:28pm
Good lord, if you've got a talented male singer, then find a gender-appropriate musical that would work for him. It's not like there's a shortage of musicals in which the lead is a boy or man.

Updated On: 4/28/14 at 04:28 PM
Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 04:35pm
However, I am really a BIG fan of Varla Jean Merman and think she would do a killer Evita performance!
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
Hex3
Stand-by
joined:11/7/08
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 05:20pm
I'm all for gender-blind casting, but only when it makes over all sense for the character and the show. And when it adds more than it takes away. The Witch in Into the Woods is a good example. Sondheim and Lapine have both said that it is a genderless role and can be played as either male or female. This was brought up when they had wanted to cast Billy Porter in the role for the revival. I also think that the idea of a male Reno is a rather interesting one. And, yes, we've all heard of female Emcees. However, there must be a line drawn somewhere. For one thing, Eva Peron is an historical figure; she is not a genderless role. Second, making her male adds absolutely nothing. It actually takes away everything that turns her into who she became.

Che is much easier to play with since he is, ultimately, a narrator. I've heard of productions doing away with the character altogether and dividing his bits to the Argentinian citizens. So you could conceivably have a woman play the role, but you end up taking away the male/female dynamic between Eva and Che.
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 05:23pm
I was going to say that I think Che being male and Eva being female is crucial to their relationship.

I also think that casting Eva as male would take away the fact that this was a woman gaining power in pretty much the only way that women could back then.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Updated On: 4/28/14 at 05:23 PM
Broadway Bob*
Broadway Star
joined:9/21/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 05:56pm
While we're discussing these things I will say, Madame Rose is one of my all time dream roles!!! (And I could do it in Merman's original keys!)
2014 Show Schedule: 3/08 @ 8:00 pm ~ THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Columbus, OH); 4/11 @ 8:00 pm ~ BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (Broadway), 4/12 @ 2:00 pm ~ ROCKY (Broadway), 4/12 @ 8:00 pm ~ THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Broadway), 4/13 @ 2:00 pm ~ CASA VALENTINA (Broadway), 4/13 @ 7:00 pm ~ SEX TIPS FOR STRAIGHT WOMEN FROM A GAY MAN (Off-Broadway); 4/14 @ 8:00 pm ~ HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Broadway); 6/06 @ 8:00 pm ~ PIPPIN (Broadway); 6/07 @ 2:00 pm ~ A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER (Broadway); 6/07 @ 8:00 pm ~ IF/THEN (Broadway); 6/08 @ 3:00 pm ~ HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH; 6/08 @ 7:30 pm ~ HEATHERS THE MUSICAL (Off-Broadway)...(MORE to come, I hope)
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 06:33pm
And I doubt you would get PERMISSION to have a male play the role. Your rights and royalties (usually) include wording that includes: not changing the gender. (some go as far to say even having girls play boys to be unaccpetable.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Male Evita?
Posted: 4/28/14 at 06:46pm
I'll probably get blasted for this but I don't care.

If you're a guy there are roles that you can't play. If you're a girl there are roles that YOU can't play. Because that's not who the author wrote them for. We live in this weird age when everyone is told they have the absolute right to be able to do anything they want and to tell them that they can't do something is the absolute height of disrespect and you are never allowed to question anyones newfound entitlement to anything.

My father was in a wheelchair and there were quite a few times when he would get so angry that these little shops in this close by city that he wanted to go into weren't wheelchair accessible. And it sucked. He wanted to go in there and look around but he just couldn't because these were tiny little shops that even if they wanted to wouldn't have had the room to be accessible to chairs. And I would let him vent and then tell him that while he couldn't go in that particular shop, he got to park at the entrance to wherever we were and we didn't have to circle around the parking lot for an hour. Or at Disney when the same thing happened, I would tell him that while he couldn't go in that particular place, we waited in ZERO lines that day, had been on every ride 3 times and it was only 3 o'clock.

So yeah, it sucks you won't get to play Rose. But you have all these other roles you can play. Because you're dude. So let the women play the women's roles and enjoy the ones you are right for.

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