On Sunday lyricist Tim Rice was presented with a special Olivier Award for his contribution to musical theatre. For all the sledging of Jesus Christ Superstar, written with Andrew Lloyd Webber, I've always had a soft spot for another of their collaborations: Evita.
The works are notably of their time - Lloyd Webber's music derivative of choral and classical music, plus the worst '70s rock - but the book for Evita is surprisingly representative of historical events. And what an unusual subject to choose, especially compared with Lloyd Webber's later projects, including Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera.
Some 20 years after the 1976 musical, Tomás Eloy Martinez tackled Argentina's sainted leader in novel Santa Evita, which was heaped with praise though it didn't add to what I'd learned from Rice-Webber. Perhaps because of this, when I saw Terrence Malick's cold take on the story of Captain John Smith, The New World (2005), I regretted not having seen Disney's Pocahontas (1995), which I hope might be a more emotionally fulfilling version of history. (I still haven't had a chance to see it.)