Posts Tagged ‘Che Guevara’

I have never and will not tolerate those who, never having researched the true history of Eva Perón, slap back the comparisons with Hillary Clinton. I do not mean this in the popular context [Eva:bad = Hillary:bad.]  I mean it in the context of both women fighting for the people. Those who have bought the US propaganda against Evita need to do a little reading to discover who she really was: her values, her aspirations, her achievements.

On that note, I celebrate the San Diego Rep revival of the Rice-Weber opus “Evita” which I classify as more than a musical since there are no spoken words. I consider it an opera. I have seen five productions – two on Broadway. At one time I knew every word of the libretto and also completely blew my voice singing it. I wish I could see this production. If you live in SoCal, you are very lucky!

The U.S. presidential race was still raging last year when San Diego Rep and its artistic director, Sam Woodhouse, chose a show that seemed ideal for the times: “Evita.”

After all, Woodhouse points out, “the quest of a powerful woman to make change in the country she loves is at the core of this piece,” and the parallels between Eva Perón and Hillary Clinton — two popular but polarizing figures who were first ladies — seemed too rich to pass up.


… Eva Perón — known adoringly as “Evita” in Argentina — was a champion of the working class and social reform in ways that went far beyond mere pose or populist rhetoric.

Woodhouse cites a long list of social reforms that the Peróns rolled out between 1946 and Eva’s death from cancer in 1952: social security, a minimum wage, universal free education and health care, paid vacation for workers, maternity leave.

“Eva was the leader of the first feminist political party in South America,” he continues. “Women’s right to vote passed during their reign. You know how horrified segments of the American population get when the concept of universal health care is mentioned? (Well), it was instituted in Argentina in the ’40s.

“That’s a short list, (but) it’s an amazing list of social and political transformation. Regardless of what the military or the aristocrats said, that happened.

Read more and get ticket information >>>>

I could not agree more with Sam Woodhouse’s interpretation of Evita – the woman. She was a social reformer remembered lovingly and with reverence by those who benefited from her works but remains despised and disparaged by the oligarchs and all those who chose to stand by them.

I was a very little girl when Eva Perón died. I remember my mother and my aunts being devastated and weeping. In the black and white press and on TV her hair looked white. I thought she was old and could not understand why everyone thought she was so young, but I knew she was important. Much later I learned who she really was.

I grieved that we did not have our own Evita until Hillary came along. But then, there she was! Proposing similar policies. A First Lady fighting for health care, collaborating with Mother Teresa (who would/must have loved Evita). All the better that she was not older than I – she was my contemporary. I rejoiced!

History tends to run roughshod over women like Evita and Hillary. Even now, we see efforts to destroy Hillary’s legacy in the same way Evita’s has been altered.

I am not Sam Woodhouse. I think I might love his production. One change I would make: I would fashion the Che character after Bernie Sanders. The fit is perfect. The socialist v. the democratic/progressive Eva. I can hear the Bernie/Che character singling “Oh What a Circus” about Hillary. He is singing it now. He should be banned for life from the Democratic Party. But I would love to see a white-haired Bernie in rumpled fatigues following Evita around onstage. That, after all, is who he is, an aging wannabe Che.

I wish I could be in SD to see this.  The tickets are reasonable. The production sounds so exciting with student participation. I think I would love it!

Break a leg, you guys! My heart is with you!

Recommended reading:

Fraser, Nicholas; Navarro, Marysa (1996). Evita: The Real Life of Eva Perón. W.W. Norton & Company.

Naipaul, V.S. (1980). The Return of Eva Perón. Alfred A. Knopf

Perón, Eva (1952). La Razón de mi vida. Buro Editors.

I have more titles, but they are in the attic. I will supply them upon request.

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