PORTLAND – Following a triumphant return to London’s West End, the all-new production of the legendary musical “Evita” now on a Broadway national tour will be presented in May at Merrill Auditorium.

PCA Great Performances will present this epic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical collaboration, winner of seven Tony Awards and copious hurrahs from critics worldwide, at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2, and at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3.

The story of one passionate woman’s love affair with her country, “Evita” chronicles the charismatic Eva Duarte de Perón’s meteoric rise from Argentine peasant to national sainthood, replete with less-than-saintly stepping stones along the way.

Called “an unparalleled musical experience” by the New York Times, “Evita” thrilled Broadway houses for years with its sweeping, historic spectacle and songs, including “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” “Oh What a Circus,” and “High Flying Adored.”

A free lecture titled “Great Women in Political History” will be offered prior to the Saturday evening performance. Dr. Marisela Funes, a native of Argentina and assistant professor of Spanish at Colby College, will discuss how the Broadway version of Evita’s life relates to the reality of her influence on Argentine politics and history. The talk will also address the importance of appearances versus reality for women seeking political power in today’s world. The lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Merrill Auditorium’s State of Maine Room.

Tickets for “Evita” are $60, $52, and $45. They are available through PortTix, the box office at Merrill Auditorium; by calling 842-0800; and at pcagreatperformances.org.

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