EVITA – The Met

EVITA – The Met

Reveiwed by David Smith

October 2015

There was much to like about the Met’s interpretation of this most serious of musicals. Director Ben Saunders clearly presented the important socio-political backdrop to the tempestuous life of Eva Peron. Musical Director Rodney Hrvatin gave a surety to the challenging score while Carmel Vistoli’s choreography assisted greatly in creating the mood. 
In the title role Emma Gordon Smith showed Eva’s single-mindedness, passion and drive. Her performance grew in intensity as events complicated Eva’s life, and in doing so, brought the rest of the cast, and indeed story, with her. Her singing had the required strength, especially in the lower register.
Opposite her, and in many ways manipulated by her, was Juan Peron, smoothly portrayed by Jamie Jewell. As a pair they were convincing in showing the distance between them and the supposedly adoring Argentinian public. They highlighted the irony of their respective roles, as the President was often more like her consort.
Ellis Dolan was a commanding and credible presence as Che. In the manner of a Greek chorus, he conversed with the audience as narrator while also taking part in the action. He used his powerful singing to direct the focus and flow of the whole production. While the musical is purportedly about Eva, its social and political intent is largely in Che’s hands and Dolan really got that right.
As a whole the cast succeeded in creating the changing atmosphere, from highly excited to darkly sombre. Unusually for a musical, they showed an admirable understanding of the importance of both movement and, more critically, stillness.
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This production was reviewed by:

David Smith
David Smith
David’s long involvement in community theatre began in Adelaide and continued for some decades in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Kapunda and the Barossa, and for one year, McAllen, Texas, USA. He is a performer, director, writer and former secondary school Drama teacher. He sings in the Adelaide Harmony Choir.

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