'Evita' premieres with star-studded gala
Madonna: 'I feel like Cinderella'
December 15, 1996
Web posted at: 2:20 p.m. EST
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Director Alan Parker always knew Madonna
was the perfect match to play Evita Peron. And as he arrived
for the premiere of "Evita," Parker realized he wasn't the
only one that felt that way.
Some 2,000 fans crowded in a bandstand near the Shrine
Auditorium, where the film debuted Saturday. Teen-agers
squealed with delight, adults were awed, and everyone was
antsy to catch a glimpse of the pop diva. One banner read:
"The Oscar goes to Madonna for 'Evita.'"
"Oh, what a circus. Oh, what a show," said the film's co-star
Antonio Banderas, his slick-backed hair gleaming as a wide
smile spread across his face.
Other celebs were psyched too. "I've been a Madonna fan ever
since she first surfaced in those rubber bracelets and
belly-baring outfits," said an enthusiastic Jennifer Tilly.
Eventually, the star arrived, gliding her way past the
crowd in an elegant, scarlet Givenchy dress. "I feel
like Cinderella," Madonna said amid the roar of the crowd.
"I feel like it's totally surreal right now."
(1.1 MB / 36 sec. Evita trailer QuickTime movie)
"Evita," which opens Christmas Day, is a screen opera
about the life of Eva Peron, the daughter of a poor farmer
who rose to power as the first lady of Argentina's President
Juan Peron in the 1940s. To the working class, Evita is
a saint; the elite view her as little better than a
prostitute who wielded too much power.
The movie is woven around the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber
and Tim Rice and includes no spoken dialogue. Lloyd Webber, on hand
for Saturday's gala, said he would "say a prayer" in hopes the
musical would be a hit. (128K/11 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Those who were lucky enough to attend the premiere applauded
Madonna and the others for their performances.
Grace Jones, decked out in a violet headdress, simply sang
out "Don't cry for me Argentina," the opera equivalent of two
thumbs up. (64K/3 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Actress Glenn Close loved the film. "It's one of the great
musicals. The music is just mind-boggling, very emotional,
very beautiful. It's a wonderful coming together of the
character and musical."
But not everyone was happy. Outside the auditorium, members
of the animal rights group PETA, upset that Madonna wore a
fur during the movie, angrily denounced the film.
"Evita stinks for wearing minks!" they chanted.
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