Thursday, June 10, 2010

Livin' Evita Loca!

Livin' Evita Loca!

Sure, the pop culture wags were busy trumpeting the news that Ricky Martin would return (yes, return) to Broadway in its very first revival of Evita.

But for those of us who had the opportunity to simply adore Michael Grandage's high-flying production when it first graced the West End a few years ago, we're absolutely thrilled that the Great White Way will finally know the name Elena Roger. Proving that good things really do come in small packages, Roger is the real deal.

After seeing Elena Roger perform as Eva Peron in 2007, I said:

Making her spectacular West End debut is an astonishing Argentine talent, Elena Roger, who offers an exceptionally nuanced performance as Eva Peron. The compact Roger evolves 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!
A year and a half later, I took in a so-so London production of Piaf. But Elena Roger made it all suddenly seem worthwhile. The reasons I recommended the show were as follows:

First is the opportunity to enjoy a live performance of the timeless songbook from the legendary "Little Sparrow" Edith Piaf. Second is to have it delivered by the abundantly assured and captivating actress Elena Roger in the title role. Just as she dazzled in last year's West End revival of Evita, once again, Roger proves a sensation. Succeeding in eerily channeling Piaf, Roger soars to make for one of the year's most extraordinary and magical performances, almost in spite of the ill-conceived production around her.

I for one can't wait to see what she does next and can only hope that Broadway is paying attention.
Fortunately, Broadway appears to have heard that clarion call.

Sure, it's crazy, perhaps in a good box office sort of way, that Ricky Martin will be portraying Che in the long overdue revival of what is arguably Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest work.

Yet it's the name Elena Roger that you'll be remembering most after the show opens on Broadway in 2012.

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.

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