It’s one of Broadway’s most well-known songs.
“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, is the star of the 1979 Tony Award-winning musical “Evita.” It helped Patti LuPone win a Tony in 1980, and it provided a memorable vehicle for Madonna to strut her vocal cords in the 1996 film version.
“Evita” will come to Pikes Peak Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I love how iconic these songs are,” said Lance Galgon, who will star as Che in the touring production. “Whenever I talk about ‘Evita,’ people bring up ‘And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out)’ or ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.’ Andrew Lloyd Webber made himself this cultural icon. I love being able to add my mark in that.”
This is Galgon’s inaugural Broadway tour but his second time as an “Evita” cast member. He performed in the ensemble several years ago in Southern California, where he lives.
The challenge for any performer who takes on an epochal role — Mandy Patinkin won a 1980 Tony for his performance as Che — is making it their own. The character Che is a narrator who shares the story of Eva Perón, who became the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón and served as first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. Eva was popular with the working class, who nicknamed her Evita, which means little Eva.
“You want to pay homage to those who came before, but you want to put your own spin on it,” said Galgon. “There’s a couple of vocal licks I take the liberty of taking, and treating Che as Evita’s conscience for the entire show. It makes the audience think and question if Eva was a saint of a person, or if she was someone more sinister than that.”
Eva grew up poor but fulfilled her dream of becoming an actress before marrying Juan and turning into a powerful political influence. During his reign, she fought for women’s suffrage and improving the lives of the poor, and she unofficially ran the ministries of health and labor. Cervical cancer killed her at 33.
“She did what she could to better her own life, as we all want to do, for ourselves and our loved ones,” Galgon said. “She came from nothing to make something of herself. She did it in a big way. She was such a powerful figure of a woman.”
The 26-year-old Galgon is dedicated to a life of music. After being dared to audition for the musical “Beauty and the Beast” in high school and winning a role, he studied music and theater at Fullerton College in Orange County, Calif. Nowadays, he regularly performs, mostly in musicals, writes acoustic folk and country music, and teaches voice lessons.
“There’s an X-factor of what theater is,” he said. “You need performers and an audience to make theater work. No two shows are ever going to be completely the same. I enjoy that unique quality of live theater production.”
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