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BWW Flashback: EVITA Dances Final Tango on Broadway

A few months ago, producers Hal Luftig and Scott Sanders announced that Grammy Award-winning international pop icon Ricky Martin as Che, Olivier Award-winning Argentinean actress Elena Roger as Eva Perón and Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón would play their final performance on Saturday, January 26, 2013. At that time, it was announced as well that the should would be announcing new stars and the production would be continuing its run. Later, they have revealed that the show will play its final performance on Saturday, January 26, tonight, after 26 previews and 337 regular performances.

Eva Perón used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. She won international acclaim and adoration from her own people as a champion of the poor, while glamour, power and greed made her one of the world's first major political celebrities. Evita tells Eva's passionate and tragic story through Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's most dazzling and beloved score, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Buenos Aires," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying Adored," together with "You Must Love Me," the Oscar-winning hit from the film Evita.

Elena Roger and cast of EVITA

Ricky Martin and cast of EVITA

Michael Ceveris, Elena Roger

Max von Essen, Elena Roger

Michael Cerveris

Michael Cerveris and cast of EVITA

Elena Roger and cast of EVITA

Elena Roger and cast of EVITA

Elena Roger, Ricky Martin

After researching the life of Eva Perón for many years, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber released Evita in 1976 as a concept album with Julie Covington as Evita and it became a world-wide hit. Soon after, the production debuted on stage in London's West End starring Elaine Paige and directed by Hal Prince. The production transferred to Broadway and opened in 1979 starring Patti LuPone, who went on to win one of the seven 1980 Tony Awards the show earned. A major 1996 film of the musical was made starring Madonna as Evita and Antonio Banderas as Che. Michael Grandage's production of Evita, which opened in 2006, took London by storm and garnered critical acclaim for the show and its leading lady, Elena Roger.

The journey began last spring, when the cast met the press before the big Broadway opening:

The creative team included Tony Award-winning Scenic and Costume Designer Christopher Oram (Red), Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Neil Austin (Red), Olivier Award-winning Sound Designer Mick Potter (Woman In White), Wig and Hair Designer Richard Mawbey (Frost/Nixon), Projection Designer Zachary Borovay (Rock of Ages), and Music Supervisor/Director Kristen Blodgette (The Phantom of the Opera), Orchestrations are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Cullen (Sunset Boulevard), and dance arrangements are by David Chase (Billy Elliot).

Tony and Olivier Award-winner Michael Grandage directed and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford choreographed. This was the first new Broadway production of the seven-time Tony Award-winning musical since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago. Evita began previews March 12 at The Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway) and finally opened on April 5.

On April 12, the cast of EVITA, including Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris and Elena Roger performed 'Buenos Aires' and 'High Flying Adored' on 'Good Morning America'.

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The show was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Choreography, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Michael Cerveris), and Best Revival of a Musical.

The show will launch a national tour in September of 2013 at the Providence Performing Arts Center.

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