DENVER (CBS4) – Critic at Large Greg Moody takes a look at the new your of the revived Broadway musical ‘Evita’ and the real life story behind it.
A recent revival of the classic Andre Lloyd Webber Musical brings the debate over the life of Eva Peron, the first lady of Argentina, back to center stage.
“Was her storied rise from poverty to power one of dark ambition or a radiant love story? Her concern for the poor an unselfish giving of herself or a cynical method of stealing millions from others,” asked Moody.
In the 61 years since her death there have been countless arguments on both sides of those questions that continue today even among the cast of the new national tour of ‘Evita.’
Was she a hero or a villain?
“I think she wants what’s best for her people, but they way she goes about getting to power may not be the most desirable way some might say. But I think she had the best intentions,” said Joe Young who plays the character “Che” on the national tour.
In many ways, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical plays her both ways, both cynical and unselfish, leaving the audience to decide who in fact she was.
“I think that’s up to the audience. In my mind I don’t think she was a villain, I think she wanted to be a hero. I think in her own right she was, she did a lot for the people but I think she was overly ambitious,” said Sean McLaughlin who plays the character “Peron.”
“I don’t think I can think of her as a villain but that’s not to say that a lot of her actions weren’t coming from a possibly manipulative place,” said Caroline Bowman who plays the character “Evita.”
Eva Peron continues to this day to have her disciples and detractors among both historians and the Argentinean masses.
For Denver audiences another chance to decide comes this month when the national tour of “Evita” returns to the stage of the Temple Buell Theatre in a new production.
“I still wonder if this question will ever be answered,” said Moody.
The national tour of the hit Broadway revival opens on the stage of the Temple Buell Theatre Jan. 15 for a two week run.
Moody says this is a great cast and Josh Young as Che and Caroline Bowman as Evita are worth the price of admission.
For tickets call 303-893-4100 or head to denvercenter.org.
– Greg Moody is CBS4’s Critic At Large. His reports on CBS4 News are featured on the CBSDenver.com Entertainment section.