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"Evita" Stars Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, Michael Cerveris at the Marquis Theatre
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"Evita" Stars Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, Michael Cerveris at the Marquis Theatre

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Hal Luftig, Scott Sanders Productions,
et al.

(Evita Website)

Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Starring: Ricky Martin, Elena Roger, Michael Cerveris

At the
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway

Director: Michael Grandage
Choreographer: Rob Ashford
Music Supervisor/Conductor: Kristen Blodgette

Also Starring: Max Von Essen, Rachel Potter
Christina DeCicco (As Eva, certain performances)

And an Ensemble of Singers/Actors/Dancers

Scenic & Costume Design: Christopher Oram
Lighting Design: Neil Austin
Hair & Wig Design: Richard Mawbey
Projection Design: Zachary Borovay
Casting: Telsey + Company
Sound Design: Mick Potter
Press Agent: The Hartman Group
Technical Supervisor: Christopher C. Smith
Production Stage Manager: Michael J. Passaro
Associate Director: Seth Sklar-Heyn
Associate Choreographer: Chris Bailey
Advertising: SPOTCO
Marketing: Type A Marketing/Anne Rippey
General Management: Bespoke Theatricals
Orchestrations: Andrew Lloyd Webber & David Cullen
Dance Arrangements: David Chase
Music Coordinator: David Lai

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2012

The Andrew Lloyd Webber – Tim Rice musical extravaganza, Evita, is more than I hoped for. That’s because Elena Roger, a born Argentinean, is a natural, in gesture, accent, inflection, personality, and charisma. Having spent a good deal of time in recent years in the Argentinean Tango community, I noticed Ms. Roger’s impassioned identification with her role and respect for Eva, “Evita”, Perón. Ms. Roger morphed from the shy teen, to the girl of the street, to model and actress, to the lady every man desires, to a forceful woman and political operative, who rapidly rose to the top. She portrays Evita, the woman who persuaded her lover, Magaldi (Max von Essen), to take her to Buenos Aires, from her boring surroundings, so she could be a star. The projected historical images and film of the actual Evita were requisite to the success of this show.

In an especially gripping scene, Evita meets Colonel Juan Perón (Michael Cerveris), at a charity event (they sing “I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You”), and she makes her way to his bedroom, tossing his mistress (Rachel Potter) out the door. The Mistress sings “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”. The music tonight was intoxicating, thanks to Kristen Blodgette’s conducting and Mick Potter’s sound design. Mr. Cerveris, as Perón, matched Ms. Roger with equally compelling charisma, and, together, they were truly stage partners that heated the air. On the other hand, Ricky Martin, as Che, the show’s narrator, left too much to be desired, and for a show, steeped in Argentinean ambiance, this was truly disappointing. The role called for a one-man Greek chorus, but his character was vapid, instead of vigorous. Yet, Max von Essen, who made an impression in Death Takes a Holiday, dynamically drew me in.

Ms. Roger’s vocal talent is astounding, and I hope to see her again soon on the Broadway stage, as this show is her Broadway debut. And, I’d love to see her paired with Mr. Cerveris, as Act II was unforgettable. Evita, as now President Perón’s wife, draws adoring crowds, but soon succumbs to cancer, carried in her coffin amidst thousands. Ms. Roger’s “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” still plays musically in my mind. Mr. Cerveris’ “She Is a Diamond” was clear and commanding. Mr. Martin tried his best with “And the Money Kept Rolling In”, a song about Evita’s questionable charities, but I forgot it, until I checked the program. Mr. Von Essen’s earlier “On This Night of a Thousand Stars” was memorable and momentous. Rob Ashford’s choreography included the tangled legs of Tango, and each dance, even a waltz, caught my eye. Christopher Oram’s sets were multi-leveled for balconies and expansive choreography, and his costumes were elegant, without overwhelming the imagery. Neil Austin’s lighting shifted seamlessly from moonlight to morning. Kudos to Ms. Roger and Mr. Cerveris, and kudos to Eva Perón.

Max von Essen and Elena Roger in "Evita"
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Michael Cerveris as Juan Peron in "Evita"
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Elena Roger and Company in "Evita"
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Elena Roger and Ricky Martin in "Evita"
Courtesy of Richard Termine

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at