Melbourne’s latest blockbuster musical, Evita starring Tina Arena is well deserving of the standing ovations and shouts of bravo it has received.
Tina Arena is simply mesmerising as Eva Peron bringing passion and glamour to the role plus that fabulous voice.
It’s not only the many men she seduces in the musical on her rapid rise to become the first lady of Argentina, it’s the audience as well.
I certainly wanted to be “Christian Diored from my head to my toes” – one of the catchy songs she sings in the much-loved production that will be staged in Melbourne until March 2019.
Evita charts the story of Eva, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation.”
It’s the old favourite Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – that really brings the house down -Arena sends tingles up your spine.
Other cast standouts are opera superstar Paulo Szot as Juan Peron, Eva’s biggest catch.
His last Australian performance was the title role in Opera Australia’s Eugene Onegin. Szot played Emile De Beque in the award-winning revival of South Pacific on Broadway.
Playing the revolutionary Che is Kurt Kansley, who has performed in The Lion King, Rent, Godspell and Show Boat, while his numerous credits in the West End include Bernstein’s Mass Concert, Guys and Dolls, Miss Saigon.
Other toe tapping songs include ‘On This Night of a Thousand Stars’, ‘You Must Love Me’ and ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall performed by newcomer Alexis van Maanen.
Sets are simple yet effective and lighting excellent.
The Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical was a sell out in Sydney.
Evita ends with a whimper as Eva dies from ovarian cancer at age 33.
Wondering what happened to her in real life – her coffin smuggled out of Argentina to be returned to an armoured vault in the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires 14 years later.
The show is entertainment at its best – go see it.
The low down
Venue: State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
Season: Until March 2019
Performance Times: Tues 6.30pm, Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm & Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm
Price: From $59.90*