The women save the day. Sarah McNicholas is quite lovely as the mistress and I thought Madalena Alberto was sensational as Eva. I can absolutely see why her voice is a divisive one, but I loved it.
Quite liked the scenary. Looked quiet classy/Presidential/imaginative?. Provided something to watch in duller moments. Thought the ensemble was very strong, if almost uniformly young looking. Great to see a proper musical out there thats using some of the young talent though. General Peron was strong enough for an Argentine General. . Magaldi (Nick Gibney) was strong. and got a very good reception. The Mistress, Sarah McNicholas, was really excellent and also got a very strong response - someone to follow . Great look for Eponine, or an interesting Cosette.......
The accent thing was odd, . accents appeared with some characters, and never with others. The music volume, particularly early on, was too loud, which meant that even when the 2 main leads hit all their notes, the last ones tended to get lost, and it didn't help establish the characters. Strings would be nice. Something looked very wrong with Don't Cry For Me when, after the song, the cast all started clapping as Evita's public, and the audience sat there making not a noise as they were confused whether the scene had ended or not. They can't have intended that the biggest song in the show got no applause can they?? Rethink needed?
Agree Marti Pellow. Slightly better - but Russell Crowe's vocal range, and Nick Jonas's acting came to mind. Got better for a couple of songs in act two, which had some oomph. Lacked edge and never quite looked like public enemy number one, or a revolutionary leader. Kept things going along though, and served his purpose - he's pulling in his fans, they like him, and judging by the response he got, there may be 10-20% of people at least there to see him.
Evita was interesting. You can see why she gets the role - thought Don't Cry For Me was good, and after she was diagnosed as dying and added emotional content, her songs were very good indeed. The treatment of some of the earlier songs got some strange looks as they were hit into orbit . Depends what you want/like - some will love vocal fireworks - I preferred the versions of those where the lyrics and music provide the emotions, rather than hearing the emotional build up end in a vocal explosion. Not sure that the idea of Evita as someone who stands out and someone who comes from the people works. I thought Evita started out looking remarkably like Piaf had in Leicester - which makes sense given the role similarities, and Madalena playing her recently, but Piaf worked because Frances Ruffele has enormous stage presence, and the early scenes were directed to allow her to show that, and it wasn't helped here by Evita getting lost in her taller ensemble. Not sure either she comes over as a woman of the people strongly or convincingly enough at the start - there's not much to use, but Madge managed that better. That may all change though as the tour progresses, if they think of things to add, and take out some of the more OTT bits. The audience seemed impressed, and Evita was suitably ovationified - though some were heard saying they expected something different.
I thought it was well worth a visit, but Che is not the obvious best casting choice, and Evita is currently a bit of yes, and no, and yes.