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'Evita' to close in January when Big 3 leave

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AP Drama Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The Broadway revival of "Evita" _ faced with trying to replace Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris _ will instead close when the Big Three leave early next year.

Producers of the Tony Award-nominated revival of Tim Rice's and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark musical said Tuesday night they have decided against plans for an open-ended run after Martin, Roger and Cerveris leave after the Jan. 26 performance.

"Our extensive search for a new cast presented the significant challenges of not only replacing a high-caliber trio of stars but also synchronizing the schedules of potential replacements with that of the production," producer Hal Luftig said in a statement. "Despite going down the road with a variety of artists, the planets have simply not aligned for us to engage the right talent at the right time."

When it closes, the musical will have played 26 previews and 337 performances, far less than the original's more than 1,580 shows played between 1979 and 1983.

A national tour will launch in September 2013 at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, R.I., and a cast album has been released, including the songs "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "High Flying Adored." The cast for the tour has not been announced.

The revival opened March 12 at the Marquis Theatre, directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford. It has broken the theater's box office record seven times, though has seen the box office slump at times.

Last week, it pulled in $920,994, or a little more than half its $1,666,936 potential. The average ticket price was $111.73 and the top premium went for $275.

The musical tells the story of Argentina's Eva Peron, who rose from the slums to the presidential mansion. Roger plays Eva, Cerveris her husband and Martin is Che.



(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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