An Interview with Paulo Szot and Michael Falzon from Evita

Here is part two of the group interviews from the Evita media call with Paulo Szot (Juan Perón) and Michael Falzon (Magaldi).

What: Evita – the Musical
Where: State Theatre, The Arts Centre

Performances run until 23 February, 2019
For more information, please visit www.evitathemusical.com.au

Paulo on the connection between Eva and Juan
“It’s very interesting to see in this musical in the moment they meet, they have this incredible connection right away, they see each other can be good for themselves and how much they want the same thing. It’s about this partnership that they made together. Perón was a politician before [they met] but he was never the president and only because of Eva, as we tell in this story, her support and her vision, she convinces him to go with her ideas. After Eva died he has to get out of the country but he comes back to be president two more times.”

Paulo on wanting to originally be a dancer
“Yes, I wanted to be a dancer when I was a teenager but it didn’t work out very well. I don’t regret it right now. It’s a passion. I always love dancing, but I think I wasn’t that good.”

Paulo on winning a Tony Award in 2008.
It was my first musical on Broadway, and my first job on Broadway, and I wasn’t thinking about the awards at all. When the other awards were approaching, I wasn’t thinking about that too much, because it was my first time, I wanted to do a good job [and] not disappoint my bosses. When the Tony night came, I hear Liza Minnelli coming on stage with this envelope calling my name. I got to hug her. This was a great memory and great part of my life that I will never forget. I still have a house in Brazil, [the trophy] was there and now it’s back in America in New Jersey.”

Paulo and Michael on scooting around Melbourne
Paulo – “I try to be very green. I’m having the best time on the scooter around the streets of Melbourne, which is my second time here. I came here four years ago to sing at this very theatre with Opera Australia, and I’m happy to be back. I didn’t have a scooter in Sydney. At first I thought about getting a bike [but] then a bike is a big thing. What would I do when I go back to the States? I thought a scooter could be a solution. It’s been wonderful because I get to see everything so quick, and, at the same time, I don’t have to worry about parking, I just take it with me.”

Michael – “Or getting some drinks after work [laughs] We started a tradition in Sydney where we’re trying to take in some restaurants and the scooter will probably come in handy. Scooting around Little Collins Street, lane ways, we’re looking forward to it very much.”

Paulo and Michael on the differences of Sydney* and Melbourne
[*This production of Evita originally had a sold-out season at Sydney’s Opera House before coming to Melbourne]

Paulo – “It’s very interesting to see the differences between cities and how people react. We noticed some applause in places that we didn’t have in Sydney.”

Michael – “This theatre too, we have an extra 500 people here. You get so much from the house compared to the Opera House. The break, coming back in fresh, we’ve all got fresh ears to what’s happening and it feels really warm being in this space. When you can see out into the house, you can see two or three generations of people. It’s really nice when you see kids in the audience.”

Paulo and Michael on working with children in Evita

Paulo – “It’s beautiful seeing these kids already doing a professional production. It changes you in a way that you always will remember, or will be proud of the experience. We see that in their eyes – the first time on stage, the excitement and to be with professional actors and singers.”

Michael – “There’s six children in the show. We’ve got three teams – diamond team, ruby team and sapphire team. That injects something fun into the show every night, because obviously they’re local and they’re in all different scenes. There’s a couple in there that are ready for lead roles [laughs]. There are some very talented kids there that I’m sure we’ll be working for one day! They’re amazing though, and always a wonderful injection of energy.”

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