Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Patti LuPone|
Evita (1978 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, which began as a concept album in 1976 and had its first stage incarnation in London in 1978, finally came to the U.S. in 1979 with a production that opened in Los Angeles and move... more »
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Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, which began as a concept album in 1976 and had its first stage incarnation in London in 1978, finally came to the U.S. in 1979 with a production that opened in Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco for multi-week engagements before landing on Broadway on September 25 to begin a Tony-winning, 1,568-performance run. The London production had been represented by a one-disc highlights album, but this one became the second full-length treatment, running, like the concept album, 100 minutes. As such, the revisions made for the stage were more apparent, especially because there were more of them than there had been in London, sometimes to Americanize the language. ("The back of beyond" in "Eva and Magaldi" became "the sticks," while "Get stuffed!" in "Goodnight and Thank You" was now "Up yours!") "The Lady's Got Potential" had been deleted, and there was a new song, "The Art of the Possible," which, with its musical-chairs staging, was more effective in the theater than on record. And "Dangerous Jade" had been revised to become "Peron's Latest Flame." Many of the changes built up the role of Evita's critic, Che. As played by Mandy Patinkin, who achieved Broadway stardom in the role, Che now rivaled Evita as a musical presence, the actor's elastic tenor and bravura manner drawing more attention to him. But Patti Lu Pone also became a star here, fearlessly bringing out Evita's strident self-interest without attempting to gain the audience's sympathy. (You couldn't say that about London's Elaine Paige.) Lu Pone was at her best when Evita was at her worst, such as in the songs "A New Argentina" and "Rainbow High." The rest of the cast was unexceptional, though Bob Gunton's Juan Peron inspired curiosity as the only actor to use a Spanish accent. ~ William Ruhlmann
Music and words written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
2 CD Set. Broadway Cast
Original cast includes: Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Mandy Patinkin.
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LuPone is a great Evita
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 07/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The United States version of "Evita" was actually the first rendition of this great Tim Rice / Andrew Lloyd Webber musical which I had ever heard. Since then, I've seen a live touring production and listened to 5 other versions (including the awesome German-language version!) on CD. And you know what? I still think that the U.S. cast, while not necessarily definitive, is superb."Evita" tells the tragic story of Eva Peron, the real-life Argentine first lady who died of cancer in 1952. Patti LuPone is excellent in the title role. Her voice is big and bold on her first big number ("Buenos Aires), and as the CD continues she uses her vocal talents to fully flesh out this compelling character.At first, Mandy Patinkin seems vocally miscast as Che. Patinkin is an absolutely first-rate singer, but his voice simply seems too sweet and innocent for the role of the darkly ironic commentator (especially on his first big song, "Oh What a Circus"). But by the second disc, Patinkin seems to have found the character; he is especially effective on "And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)." The rest of the cast is very good. Jane Ohringer in particular gives a beautiful performance as Juan Peron's mistress. Bob Gunton is a solid Peron. And Mark Syers brings a slightly campy sweetness to his role as the singer Magaldi."Evita" is one of the truly great musicals, and this version is definitely worth owning. I recommend that fans of "Evita" the musical also do a little research into the life of the historical Evita in order to better appreciate this piece of theater."
Perfect rendition of an imperfect but excellent score
Michael J. Mazza | 04/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, Andrew Lloyd Webber has an irritating tendency to write a few wonderful pieces of music, then fill up the remainder of the show with reprises. Yes, Tim Rice's lyrics can be more than a little inane.However, those few wonderful pieces of music are truly superb. And while the lyrics *can* be ridiculous, there are plenty of moments in which they shine -- and then linger in your mind long after those moments have passed.I heard this recording after that of the movie and found the difference to be striking. Not only are the voices clearer and more vibrant, but some of the sharpest lyrics were cut from the movie because they cast a very negative light on Eva Peron. Plus, "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" was done by the *right* character in this recording. It works out so much better that way.I've never heard Julie Covington sing (at least not that I can recall), and Madonna doesn't quite have the range or the sheer force required for the part, but Patti LuPone was such a perfect Evita that one can hardly ask for more. Her sharp soprano voice isn't the type that everyone will like, and to some it's probably an acquired taste. Yet it is perfect for the title part of this musical. She has easily the highest non-operatic voice I've ever heard, and she skillfully employs it with amazing forcefulness.Antonio Banderas acts a great Che, but he simply is not a singer, with a voice not far above merely 'decent.' I did like Colm Wilkinson's singing in Les Miserables, but my guess is that as Che he wouldn't master the flawless, matchless vocal subtlety of Mandy Patinkin's Che. Patinkin's voice may be light and even effeminate (though the latter only when he sings falsetto, in my opinion), but what some listeners seem to miss is that Che is not *supposed* to be "rough and tough" -- he's supposed to be bitterly cynical and angry. Patinkin's emotional range is as wide as his vocal one, making him wonderful in the part. I've seen his Che described as "chilling," and that's the right word. Patinkin does indeed produce a chilling, even jarring fusion of lilting tenor song (and here he has a *beautiful* voice) and harsh diatribe of Evita that lends a wonderfully surreal note to the show.Is this recording perfect? No, but only because _Evita_ itself, like any musical, cannot be absolutely without flaws. But there's no question that it's worth buying and listening to again and again."
More than a little touch of star quality
Craig Miller | New York, NY | 01/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than just a modern-day Cinderella story, EVITA is a powerful musical about ambition, politics, class, greed, obsession and an overwhelming need for acceptance and love. This is Lloyd Webber's best score; none of his later subjects seemed to challenge him as much.Some of the other reviews posted here complain about Patti LuPone's "strident" voice vs. Madonna's more gentle voice. Putting aside that Patti has one of the finest and most thrilling voices in the theatre today, anyone who has heard recordings of Eva Peron's speeches will know that the real Evita's voice was far from soothing. Lloyd Webber was able to capture the harangue in her voice in his score, which Patti delivered with a fiery, powerful vocal (and acting) performance that captures an essence of Eva Peron that Madonna couldn't manage.Now, I liked the movie. It was visually stunning, the orchestrations were lush, and it attempted to be a more balanced portrayal than the original stage productions. Antonio Banderas gives a passionate performance, and Jonathan Price really brings depth to a sketchily written role. Madonna looks great (once she gets past the scenes wear she has to play a fifteen-year-old), and I have to say she sang better than she ever has. BUT, the fire and passion I expected from her was not evident. Also, sections of the score were lowered for her, and some tempos were slowed down, which I think worked against her performance.The Broadway recording does have its problems: some of the orchestrations, which sounded fresh and exciting in the late seventies, have not aged well. Also, the sound quality, while not bad, is slightly muffled. Of course, it was recorded over twenty years ago, before the advances of digital recording. But one has to wonder why this recording hasn't been remastered with this new technology.But what this recording does have is a stellar cast, headed by La LuPone in a performance that defines the role. (EVITA, as written, is actually quite anti-Eva Peron, but Patti invests her with a humanity that saves her from being a one-note villainess). Mandy Patinkin gives one of two of his finest performances (the other being SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE) and his over-the-top performance here isn't distracting as it has become in later performances. Bob Gunton also contributes a sly, knowing performance as Peron.I have several versions of EVITA--the original concept album, the London album with Elaine Paige, a the original Madrid cast, a European recording with Florence Lacey, even a Korean recording (but let's not go there), and the movie soundtrack. Of all the recordings I have heard, the original Broadway cast recording stands as the definitive recording, with Patti as the best-sung Evita. If you buy only one version, as a commercial might state, then buy this one."