BWW Reviews: EVITA is Adored at the Majestic Theatre
Evita is High Flying, Adored.
A woman heralded as a saint by some and one of the most skilled authorities of the "casting couch" by others, Eva Peron inspired an entire country - and Andrew Lloyd Webber to write EVITA.
The musical, which originally opened on Broadway in 1979 and has been revived several times - including an amazing (in my opinion) film adaptation starring Madonna - is currently touring the US and has made a stop in San Antonio.
As an avid fan of Madonna and a long-time lover of her 1996 portrayal of Evita and being extremely familiar with the score, I was both excited and nervous about experiencing a live staged production featuring actors with whom I was unfamiliar. However, at the April 29 opening night of the tour's week at San Antonio's Majestic Theatre, my nerves were eased almost immediately.
It is Josh Young's performance as Che that solidified this show for me as being completely enjoyable. His air of confidence as narrator of Evita's life, together with his line delivery and incredible singing voice, make for a wonderful performance.
Caroline Bowman as Evita was also refreshing and relieving. Given my extraordinary biased toward Madonna's performance, I was all but dreading someone else in the role. Again, the performer proved I had nothing to fear. She's a marvelous Evita.
It is appropriately symbolic that Juan Peron's role is small yet important, and Sean McLaughlin carries the part well.
Young, Bowman, and McLaughlin are supported by a talented ensemble. Something that was unexpected to me was the incorporation of "You Must Love Me" into the production - a song that was written specifically for the film. It's an Oscar-winning song, and a beautiful one that worked extremely well in the film, but knowing it was not "supposed" to be in the stage show made it feel a bit like they just shoved an extra scene in there haphazardly. It could have gone without, but the song remained beautiful nonetheless.
EVITA is playing at the Majestic Theatre through May 4, 2014. Tickets are available at the box office or via Ticketmaster.