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Madalena Alberto dazzles in the new British touring production of EVITA

Marti Pellow and Mark Heenehan also star in this production of the acclaimed musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, which opened at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London on May 15, 2013.

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Bill Kenwright and Bob Tomson have staged a new touring production of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice EVITA. The starting venue was the New Wimbledon Theatre in London, where it ran from 15 to 18 May before visiting other British cities.

EVITA is one of the great masterpieces of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. The musical masterfully portrays the rise and fall of actress Eva Duarte, later Eva Peron after marrying colonel Juan Peron, who became the President of Argentina.

The musical depicts a contradictory Eva Peron: a benefactor character but also ambitious, instead of extolling her as perfect woman. Very cleverly it uses the figure of a narrator named Che, sour, sarcastic and anti-Peronist, who is the voice of conscience that accompanies the story.

Madalena Alberto stars in this production of EVITA in the title role and Marti Pellow -lead of the band Wet Wet Wet- as Che.

Madalena offers a sincere and heartfelt performance, giving a new dimension to the character of Evita, clearly showing all her strength, passion and intensity, but also all her weaknesses. If in LES MISÉRABLES her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" overwhelmed the public, and her Lucy in JEKYLL AND HYDE shocked the audience, her recent masterful interpretation of Piaf at Leicester’s The Curve has also opened way for her to shine on stage with her own light in EVITA, confirming once again that she has an unique talent that makes her one of the West End stars we’ll be talking more about in the coming years for sure.

Madalena is one of those actresses with a powerful stage presence and a voice tessitura so special which makes her unmistakable, as Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters or Idina Menzel. In the first act of the show, Madalena bursts into the scene with strength and passion in “Buenos Aires”; and her performance opposite Mark Heenehan -who provides an excellent portrait of Juan Peron- in the duet "I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You" is sublime, offering just the right part of innocence and assertiveness that is required in the song.

The second act opens with the classic "Don’t Cry For Me Argentina" which Madalena sings in a way that it seems to be the first time you hear it, with all the excitement and intensity that this iconic scene needs. She performs it from the balcony of the Casa Rosada, where the Argentine people surrender to the feet of Eva Peron, in the same way that the public of New Wimbledon Theatre surrendered at the feet of Madalena Alberto at the opening night of the musical, offering her a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Marti Pellow portrays effectively the character of Che, who in this production uses again the image of Che Guevara as a model, as director Harod Prince did in the original West End production, while in recent EVITA theatre productions, and in the film starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, Che was portrayed as an anonymous reference. The highlights of Marti Pellow on stage are in "And The Money Kept Rolling On" and "Waltz For Eva and Che", which shows an ironic sexual tension between the two characters.

Madalena serves one of the most emotional moments of the show with the heartbreaking "You Must Love Me". This song -which was composed by Webber and Rice for the 1996 film, and subsequently added to the stage production- displays one of the last moments of the life of Eva Peron, when she has already almost no strength and energy. The intensity with which Madalena performs this song brings tears to the eyes to more than one person in the audience.

EVITA is one of the great shows in Musical Theatre history, and this production allows people to enjoy and rediscover this musical thanks mainly to the masterful work of Madalena Alberto and to the excellent company supporting her. "You must see it"!

Marti Pellow (Che) and Madalena Alberto (Eva Peron) in EVITA

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