A Night at the Opera

My son and I went to see Evita a couple of weekends ago. I’m still humming, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina! Da da dat-da da daaaa, da dum-da.”

It had been a while since I’d seen an opera-type musical production. You know, with no spoken lines and everything sung. In other operas, I’ve gotten past it, become entrenched in the story and think nothing of someone singing, “I have to go now, but I’ll be back tomorrow. Could you close the door behind me? Thanks much,” in the most dramatic way.

This one, though, really threw me. Maybe it was because we were in the cheap $25 seats and were looking at the stage from the third-level balcony. It’s kind of hard to get wrapped up in the story when you’re at the same height as the feet of the guy running the main spotlight. My blood was thinning up there.

It just seemed so weird that people were singing their conversations, maids were looking wistfully offstage while stroking a sparkly ball gown on a hanger, grown macho men were doing the cha-cha, and a Madonna look-alike was slapping on Velcro jewelry to the beat of a tango.

I couldn’t seem to get my mind off the scenario of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting around a Soho apartment drinking soy lattes and Tim saying, “OK, here, let’s have Che Guevara do a little kick dance across the stage.”

“Ooh-oooh, yes!” Andrew responds.  “And then Eva will do a number about how she wants all of her charitable donations to go through the foundation.”

Maybe I’m too cynical to watch this kind of stuff. I used to really get into it. I love musicals, I don’t care if they’re realistic or not. But for some reason this one had me thinking about “The Making of Evita” just a little too much.

Maybe it was the disclaimer in the program, that there is no historical evidence that Che Guevara ever met Eva Peron. Or maybe it was the lady sitting next to me who blurted out loudly, “That’s supposed to be Che Guevara? I thought it was her conscience!”

Or maybe it’s just that it’s been a while since I’ve seen a musical production. On our last trip to New York, the Broadway strike left us with only the Rockettes as entertainment. And if that’s not realistic, I don’t know what is. I need to get out more.