Theatrics in Spanish. Come and get it!
(Posters: Fair use)
By Jack Wright
EVITA has grabbed hold of Madrid’s major marquee.
Nuevo Teatro Alcala, Sala 1
Calle Jorge Juan 62
Tel. 91 426 47 79
Up to 23 October 2016
Duration: 2 hr 30 min including intermission
Evita, the smashing musical, is, as you well know, a rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It focuses on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón (1919-1952), the charismatic second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story traces Evita’s life from abject cradle through her rise to power to grave.
Evita was first produced on stage in London’s West End in 1978, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical. It hit Broadway a year later, the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Following this brilliant track record came a succession of professional tours and productions around the world and numerous recordings of cast albums.
Evita was made into a major film in 1996, starring Madonna and Spanish actor Antonio Banderas.
A revival was staged in London in 2006 and toured the UK in 2013-2014 before running for 55 performances between September and October 2014 back home in the West End.
The revival on Broadway took place in 2012.
In Spain, Evita premiered in Madrid in 1978 starring singer-actress Paloma San Basilio. It went over big with the Spanish audiences. Nearly 40 years later, Evita returns with a cast of 31 actors, 9 musicians, and a chorus of 20 children without the then lingering threat of the Fracoist blue pencil.
Jaime Azpilicueta, veteran Spanish playwright and director of Evita then and now, says: “The version that’s showing currently is absolutely free [of censorship], without restrictions to hold it back.” He adds, “It’s so exciting to return to Madrid with this musical.”
The new version was actually staged first in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, in 2015.
Other superbs on Madrid’s theater circuit
Four years running.
A Gerard Bitton – Michel Munz comedy.
Enrique is a confirmed bachelor who loves women. He gets a tempting bequest from a distant aunt he can only collect if he marries. He marries his best friend, Lolo; he keeps his women and the inheritance.
Spanish version directed by Gabriel Olivares.
Cast: Agustín Jimenez, Carlos Chamarro, Manu Badenes, Santiago Urrialde y Esperanza Lemos
LA CENA DE LOS IDIOTAS (The Dinner of the Idiots)
Teatro Muñoz Seca
Plaza del Carmen, 1
Tel. 91 523 21 28
Up to 23 October 2016
Duration: 90 min
A group of friends dine together Wednesdays. They invite an idiot to every dinner for the sole purpose of laughing at him. There comes a night when one of the friends thinks he’s found the perfect idiot.
Comedy by Francis Veber. An incisive commentary on a society in which it’s hard to know who is the real idiot.
Spanish version and direction: Josema Yuste
La Cena de los Idiotas is in its seventh year. An undiluted success!
Cast: Ramón Langa, Manu Badenes, Santiago Urrialde, Esperanza Lemos, Fermí Herrero, Estela Bercero
The versatile Ángel Ruiz is both playwright and actor giving life to Miguel de Molina (1908 – 1993), a genius of the Spanish copla (couplet) who lived in exile from the homophobic Franco regime. Accompanied on the piano by Cesar Belda, Ruiz deftly uses such De Molina songs as “Ojos Verdes” and “La Bien Pagá” to recreate De Molina’s life which was full of gaiety, nostalgia, rebellion and injustice.
A necessary tribute to the unsung heroes of Spain.
The title of the show is a play of words. What should have been Por Amor al Arte (For the Love of Art) has been transformed into For the Humor of Art. The full title is thus: The Twins Present ‘For the Humor of Art’.
The Mellizos (twins) consist of the acclaimed tandem, singer-actor Bertin Osborne and comedian Paco Arevalo. You can expect the unexpected from the Mellizos’ hit comedy of live music and funny and unpredictable stories.
Spanish humor at its most entertaining.
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