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OLC "Evita" Understudy/Alternate Mystery

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OLC "Evita" Understudy/Alternate Mystery

K-MO Profile Photo
K-MO
#1OLC "Evita" Understudy/Alternate Mystery
Posted: 9/17/23 at 8:20pm

This is super niche but thought this board may have some excellent minds who know this stuff.

I am doing "Evita" research and finding contradictions in my research regarding the original London company!! Andrew Lloyd Webber says in his memoir that Michelle Breeze was Elaine Paige's first cover/understudy, but Robert Seller's book "When The British Musical Ruled the World" (while interviewing her) says it was Susannah Fellows. Were they both covers before an alternate was found?

Conversely, why was Diane Langton initially announced as the first Eva alternate only for it to turn out to be Marti Webb?

Even more conversely, Sellers book calls Fellows the first alternate with no mention of Webb...

Any clarification and stories are much appreciated.  Cheers!

QueenAlice Profile Photo
QueenAlice
#2OLC "Evita" Understudy/Alternate Mystery
Posted: 9/17/23 at 9:37pm

When Elaine Paige started performances, she was scheduled to do 8 performances a week. Very early in the run, perhaps even as early as the end of the first week, Elaine became ill and Susannah Fellows (a young American performer in the cast)  went on.  Susannah continued to cover Paige sporadically until a decision was made a couple of months into the run that Paige required an alternate. Susannah became the alternate. Michelle Breeze was the understudy.

You might enjoy this reunion video on Youtube. You can hear Susannah speak about her experience going on for Paige around the 26 minute mark.  Susannah also talks about the Diane Langton situation and says it was pure press fabrication.  She says Hal Prince came up to her personally and told her it wasn't true, and that in fact he had such a poor working relationship working with Langton in the OLC of A Little Night Music that he wouldn't ever consider her for Evita.

EVITA OLC Zoom Reunion


“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”

K-MO Profile Photo
K-MO
#3OLC "Evita" Understudy/Alternate Mystery
Posted: 9/18/23 at 10:08am

Wonderful! Thank you so much for your help. Fascinating chats in this video...