Novel collaborations within experienced teams lead to best research outcomes
Evita premiered on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre on September 25, 1979. The production ran for an incredible 1,567 performances and won a remarkable seven Tony Awards, including best book, best score, and best musical of the year. Evita was Andrew Lloyd Webber's last show with Tim Rice before he went on to less successful collaborations. A third key member of the creative team was Harold Prince, the director of numerous groundbreaking productions such as Cabaret and West Side Story. Evita is loosely based on the life of Eva Peron, the charismatic wife of post-World War II Argentine president Juan Peron. Rice builds a compelling story around Eva Peron's rise from poverty to power. The impact of the story is augmented by Lloyd Webber's Latin-inspired music. Evita's showstopper is “Don't Cry for Me, Argentina,” but the score includes many other hits. At this point, even fans of Chicago Hope and of Mandy Patinkin, who played Che Guevara in the original production of Evita, may be starting to wonder what relevance all this Broadway “stuff” has to vascular surgery. As it turns out, the creation of a Broadway musical shares many similarities with other creative endeavors, such as scientific research. In a recent manuscript published in Science, my coworkers and I investigated the mechanisms by which teams of creative agents self assemble and how those assembly mechanisms determine the success of the teams.