‘Evita’ lives up to its grand opera format

In its more than 60 years, Musical Theatre West has only once staged the hit 1978 musical “Evita,” so it was high time for the Long Beach company to revisit the now-classic show, one of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s most durable and reliable

This lavish production, directed by Larry Carpenter, plays up the show’s “You Are There,” newsreel-style feel while enhancing its grand opera format: in tracing the creation of a national heroine and political myth, “Evita” is entirely sung, not spoken, with an ear-pleasing score and often witty lyrics.

Starting with her humble origins, Evita’s life story is narrated by Che (Richard Bermudez). As in reality, the title character evolves from comely brunette teen Eva Duarte to stunning goddess Evita Perón: With a platinum blonde coiffure, blindingly white gowns and glistening diamond jewelry, Argentina’s…

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