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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Alan Parker’s film version of Lloyd Webber and Rice’s Evita (1996) provides a case study of how a star’s agency can affect a film musical’s narrative. This chapter on the movie reveals how adjustments made to the piece for its movie incarnation result in a change of presentation of the title character, played by Madonna. Whereas the stage show depicts Eva as a figure of moral ambiguity, the film turns her into a probably well-meaning, mostly sympathetic, inherently romantic heroine. A series of newly created flashbacks, scenes, lyrics, and entire songs were crafted for the purpose of gaining insight into and empathy for Eva. For example, Eva, rather than Peron’s mistress, now sings ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall,’ one of the hit songs from the score, and the ‘Waltz for Evita and Che’ is staged as a romantic duet, without conveying the cynicism of the lyrics. The addition of ‘You Must Love Me’ adds a new insight into her realization that if Peron can still show her such attention and affection when she is dying and no longer of any use to him, then he must love her after all. In these and many other ways, Eva is humanized in a way that is not the case in the Broadway original.

Keywords: Evita, Alan Parker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Madonna

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