SAN JOSÉ, CA – María Eva Duarte de Perón, “Evita,” used her charismatic personality to rise from the slums of Argentina to “La Casa Rosada,” its Presidential Palace. As the second wife of General Juan Perón, Eva became the First Lady of Argentina from l946 until her death in l952, and the most powerful woman in the world.
In a Rock Opera concept album, which was released in l976, Eva Perón was brought back to life, and years later continued “living” in EVITA the musical. with music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lyrics by Tim Rice, that depicts her life.
The musical was first presented at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End, in l978, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical on that year and a year later, a Tony in Broadway. EVITA was on its way.
Through all these years, the role of Evita in the musical have been played by different stars around the world, this time in the BROADWAY SAN JOSE, A NEDERLANDER PRESENTATION, the star role is played by CAROLINE BOWMAN who CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL had the opportunity to interview.
C.W.B. How do you see the character of Eva Perón that you are playing ?
C.B: “I see Evita as a young woman who is ambitious and driven, who craves power, and wants more for her life that she has. A woman who will do almost anything to get what she wants. Evita wants to get out from her actual life because she is an illegitimate daughter, belongs to a poor family, and lives in a small town in Argentina. She believes that she deserves more that what she was born into, and (to get it) she needs to fight for it because her life as it is, is not everything she she wants it to be. Eventually, she got what she wanted in her very short life.”
C.W.B. In your portrayal of Evita, what do you plan to emphasize in your performance?
C.B. Every person who portrays a "character" is unique in his or her presentation. I think I am going to emphasize her youth. I will show her journey from the time she was very young. But I also have to think that she (her character) represents a true person (Evita) and that in this show everything about the real Evita is authentic. We show her telling her complex story in a very simple way. I think that what we (the play) brings up is her humanity. We show her not only as a political figure but as a human being, and I don’t think that there are many people who see Eva Peron as human, because during her life, she had such a huge influence in the population. When I play her in the show, I feel very torn as to whether the people are going to liked her or not, because (in the show) you really get some insight look at the "real" Eva Peron behind close doors. You get to see how she really was like when she was alone."
C.W.B. Is this EVITA different from the original show?
C.B. Yes. And one reason why it is different from the original is that in this show we use a lot of dancing which is amazing because in Argentina, Tango is a way of communication.
There is a “morning Tango” there is a different type of tango for everything. We use the Tango to tell the story. It is very spectacular. And here I go back to the word “authentic” because the story in this production is very authentic.
C.W.B. So, this Revival of Evita is not the original Evita?
C.B. “No. (This EVITA is a production by HALL LUFTIG, SCOTT SANDERS and TROIKA ENTERTAINMENT) You have to remember that this production is a "Revival", and each time they do a Revival in Broadway they try to make a show different. Basically, it is the same show. but it has a different “take” than the story of l979. It has also one new song."
C.W.B. Do they still have CHE GUEVARA in this version?
C.B. Yes, but in this version “our Che” is not CHE GUEVARA, He (the character) represents basically every man, a “descamisado” (A “Shirtless Man” as the homeless were called in Argentina) Che, here is one of the people and the voice of the people. His purpose is to give the audience a “personal view” of Eva Peron. He leads the audience to her life, and also has a commentary about it.”
C.W.B. As an actress, representing Evita, what can you tell us about the real Evita?
C.B. "That Evita Perón was a woman with a huge life who between the ages of 15 and 53 lived more life than most of us can imagine living in a hundred years. In those years, Evita went from the slums of Buenos Aires to being the First Lady of her country and having the people of her country following her and loving her, in spite of knowing who she was."
C.W.B Can you tells us something special about this show?
C.B. "This show is very epic, so for two hours people can expect to see amazing singing and amazing dancing, as we (the actors) do our best to give the audience information about this incredible woman’s life."
C.W.B. What, in your opinion, is the most important thing in this version of the musical?
C.B. "The heart. It shows Evita the woman: fragile and scare and even frustrated at times. I think that this version of Evita really shows her as a human being. It shows the humanity of Evita.
The National Tour of EVITA will be presented at the S.J. Center for the performing Arts from November 19 to November 24.