Argentina is automatically connected with Evita. One of the typical reactions to whoever I say that I am living in Argentina -one I already get bored- is that they start singing “don’t cry for me Argentina”. Of course, that is the Evita everyone seems to know, the one of the Broadway musical.
If you want to get a touch of Argentina, this Broadway show is the one you should see. Not only is it the story of the wife of an ex-Argentine president, about all the spectators –at least all the ones that sat around us- are Argentine. About the only word you heard after the show during the standing ovation, was “maravillosa”. With the Argentine accent, of course.
I once read that every Argentine seems to have an opinion of Eva Peron : they either love or hate her. And she is probably hated as much as she is loved. All we can say that she (and her husband) changed the country for ever.
In the musical she is presented as the bad person, which did come as a surprise to me. Although I knew some of the songs –my parents used to have ‘the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber’ record- I didn’t know the musical. I must admit that I wasn’t looking for Argentina when I went to see the show : I went to see Ricky Martin (who plays the role of CHE). Because –whatever his sexual preference might be- I absolutely love him. We even postponed going because he was absent 😉
And I was pleased with what I saw. It was a great musical in the typical Broadway style. Ricky is exactly what I expected him to be. But –I am sorry guys- I didn’t like Elena Rogers. I know she is very popular in Argentina, but I didn’t like her looks (she is tiny, not at all as Evita) and I didn’t like her voice as she seems to be shouting at the top of her voice instead of singing : she kind of spoiled the songs.
But don’t let this hold you from going to see the show when you go to New York, and if you are in Argentina, don’t miss the Evita museum. Although it gives a one sided view on her life (just as the musical gives the other one), the museum is nice, and the restaurant is absolutely the best, especially in summer if you can sit outside on the terrace.
Eva must have been a charismatic person. There is a myth in my family that my grandmother (who has since long passed away) wrote a letter to Evita on which she actually received an answer. What the letter said nobody knew, nobody has ever seen it, so we can even doubt it’s existence. But I guess that is why it is called a myth…