Patti LuPone, 71, didn’t hesitate to mock President Donald Trump’s public appearance on the balcony of the White House after his return from the hospital on Oct. 5. This is because it reminded Patti of her famous balcony scene in her politically-charged Broadway production, Evita, in which she assumed the role of the late actress Eva Perón in 1979. Ironically, the real-life Eva — who married the former populist president of Argentina Juan Perón in 1945 — would stand on the balcony of the Casa Rosada (Argentina’s version of The White House) to deliver speeches to the public.
From the Casa Rosada’s balcony, Eva would speak to the working class (whom she referred to as “the shirtless”), which revered the First Lady who had also grown up poor. So, the Evita Broadway adaptation paid tribute to this by creating the song “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” for Patti to sing from the balcony. With these similarities in mind, Patti believed her balcony scene was much more iconic than the POTUS’s photo op pictured above. “I still have the lung power and I wore less makeup. This revival is closing November 3,” Patti quipped on Twitter.
Of course, the “makeup” jab was a reference to Trump’s tan that is often described as orange. Clearly, Patti still hasn’t lost her edge (as expected of a Tony Award winner). Evita was also made into a movie in 1996 and the former First Lady of Argentina was played by Madonna.
Patti’s tweet got a lot of attention but it wasn’t the only one that compared Trump’s headline-making moment to the Evita scene, which was based on the 1952 speech that the then dying Eva gave when telling a crowd she could not accept their wish that she be her husband’s vice presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. “Donald Trump looks VERY uncomfortable here, gasping for air. Look, I also enjoy reenacting the Don’t Cry for Me Argentina scene from Evita, but only when my lungs are at full capacity,” one tweet read.
“On the balcony is the worst EVITA revival ever: ‘Don’t Cry For Me Coronavirus’,” another tweet read. “Why isn’t Evita on the balcony with you?” one user asked while a second wrote, “Balcony moment. Trump is Evita Peron of the COVID-19.”
CNN‘s White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, also commented on the now viral “Evita” moment during an appearance on the network. “This was not an Evita moment, it was more like Covita,” he said about Trump’s post-hospital appearance.
Before his latest photo-op, Trump first announced he and wife Melania Trump, 50, tested positive for coronavirus on Oct. 1, just hours after it was confirmed his aide, Hope Hicks, also tested positive for the virus. He was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center one day later after showing “mild symptoms” and his physician Sean P. Conley updated the public about his condition. “As of this afternoon the president remains fatigued but in good spirits. He’s being evaluated by a team of experts and together we’ll be making recommendations to the president and first lady in regards to next best steps,” he said while also confirming that Trump was given an “antibody cocktail.”
The president continued to tweet out photos that appeared to show him working from the hospital and videos of himself giving the public updates. After briefly leaving the hospital to greet supporters outside by waving from his secure motorcade in a drive-by on Sunday evening, the White House announced he would be checking out of the hospital the next morning. Trump also took to Twitter to tweet just hours before his release.
“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good!” his tweet read. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”