Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #15 - Evita

SOB's Favorite Shows Of The Noughties: #15 - Evita (2007, Adelphi Theatre, London, United Kingdom)

Introduction: Hard as it is to comprehend that we're already 119 months into this "new" millennium, we are fast approaching the end of its first decade. While we have yet to agree on what exactly we should call the '00s, I'll take a cue from the fine folks at The Times of London and the BBC and henceforth refer to them at the Noughties.

With that small introduction, I'm pleased to present my list of plays and musicals that wowed me the most during that time. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of shows I've seen over the last ten years, I give you my countdown of my 25 personal favorite shows of the Noughties.

To see the best revival of the 2006-07 Theatrical Season, I had to fly across the Atlantic and visit London. Michael Grandage's West End revival of Evita was unequivocally stunning. I absolutely adored this high-flying, soaring production. Credit Grandage's direction and choreographer Rob Ashford with once again revitalizing a musical in a most breathtaking, dazzling manner.

Making her spectacular West End debut was an astonishing Argentine talent, Elena Roger, who offered an exceptionally nuanced performance as Eva Peron. The compact Roger evolved right before your eyes from the flirtatious young girl seeking her ticket to Buenos Aires stardom to her role alongside Juan Peron to a physically and emotionally impaired invalid. And what a powerful, beautiful voice! Philip Quast brought a deceptively steely charm to his characterization of strongman Juan Peron epitomizing why he and Eva would be "surprisingly good" for one another.

Added to all of this were the newly syncopated rhythms offered by David Cullen's lush orchestrations (particularly in songs like "Buenos Aires") for what is arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber's best score, along with a breathtaking set design by Christopher Oram, and the result was one of the most stellar evenings of live theatre I've enjoyed over the past ten years. It left me on a proverbial "Rainbow High."

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post. I paid my own way for this performance.

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