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Posts Tagged ‘andrew lloyd webber’

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There can’t be many theatre goers who have not at least heard of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Evita, which tells the story of Argentine First Lady Eva Peron. And surely any musicals fan worth their salt knows the shows most famous song, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. I saw my first production of this musical back in 2013; I went to see it pretty much on a whim and was absolutely blown away by it, so when I heard that another production of the show was touring, I just knew I had to see it.

In this particular production, Emma Hatton – fresh from the West End production of Wicked – takes the title role and Gian Marco Shiaretti has been making waves with his excellent performance as the cynical narrator Che.

However, during the performance that we saw, Che was played by understudy Matias Stegmann – and he certainly did not disappoint!! With arguably the largest part in the whole play, tasked with relating Eva’s story to the audience while maintaining a healthy cynicism about how effective she actually was in her role of First Lady, Matias Stegmann radiated star quality – he had a beautiful voice and the charisma required for the role and I will be looking out for this actor in the future.

Emma Hatton as Evita was also superb throughout – her voice is second to none and her rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina actually moved me to tears. This is the song that the audience was waiting for and she did not disappoint – as she stood on the balcony ready to begin, you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium. What pressure!! I must also mention Sarah O’Connor, who played Juan Peron’s girlfriend (ousted when the social climbing and ambitious Eva came on the scene) and who performed the beautiful Another Suitcase Another Hall wonderfully. Such a sweet sweet voice – another one to look out for in future. Kudos also to Kevin Stephen-Jones as Juan Peron. Peron himself is actually not a major role in the play, but Stephen-Jones nevertheless stood out in the part.

With beautiful music and a stellar cast, this show is one to look out for – if you get chance, I highly highly recommend that you go and see it!

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Click here for my review of the 2013 production of Evita

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joeinjoe

Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Joseph is 46 – yes, 46!! – years old. And, I’m ashamed to say that I have never seen it before today! In fact my only real awareness of the  show comes from Jason Donovan being cast in the lead role in the early 1990s, and the surrounding hoo-ha his casting caused (although he was apparently brilliant and soon silenced his critics).

So I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I went to see the show – I knew the basic storyline…Joseph is given a fantastically colourful coat and ends up as a slave, and there’s loads of music during the story – but that was about it. What I certainly didn’t expect was so much energy, colour and humour. If this show doesn’t make you smile, then you need your sense of humour checking.

X Factor winner Joe McElderry played Joseph, and brought a real freshness and vitality to the role. He also has a beautiful singing voice, shown off to full effect in such numbers as Close Every Door, and Any Dream Will Do. However, his is arguably not the largest part – that would go to the nameless narrator who has the dual task of being on stage pretty much throughout the entire show, yet not getting in the way of the action taking place. Lucy Kay and her stunning soprano voice  accomplished this beautifully.

I loved the array of musical styles, from country to gospel to calypso and some rather amazing Elvis Presley inspired numbers from the Pharaoh, played by Emilianos Stamatakis – who I had never heard of before, but I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that I’ll be hearing of him again…what a talent!

The cast were supported by local schoolchildren who were on stage the whole time and sang along beautifully with the music while remaining observers only to the story. Twhole cast seemed to be having a wonderful time, and so did the audience. By the end of the show, everyone was on their feet, singing, dancing and clapping along.

Truly fantastic, and a show not to be missed.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s famous collaboration Evita, which charts the life of Eva Peron, first lady of Argentina, until her premature death in 1952.  In this production, Madalena Alberto plays the eponymous heroine, with Marti Pellow talking on the role of Che.  The songs are well known and include Another Suitcase, Another Hall; On This Night of a Thousand Stars, Buenos Aires, You Must Love Me, and of course Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.  They all sounded fantastic, due to the incredible talent of the cast and the orchestra.  Pellow, who actually takes the largest role, and who is on stage almost all of the time, as part cynical observer, part narrator, was charismatic and perfect for the role of Che.

Eva’s life is covered with big leaps from era to era – if it was”t based on a true story, you might hardly believe it – and the way that Eva visibly aged throughout the show, from her time as a teenager with high hopes, to the girlfriend then wife of Juan Person – was very well done.

The famous balcony scene was beautifully done, and brought tears to my eyes ( and in fact, there were several audience members wiping away tears at the extremely emotional end scenes).

Having heard and read reviews, I went into the show with high expectations – and they were exceeded in every single way.  My sole regret is that I did not get tickets for another performance of this show, because it was truly wonderful from start to finish.

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Click here for my review of the 2017 production of Evita.

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