The reviews are in for the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, starring Ricky Martin, at New York’s Marriott Marquis Theatre, and they’re certainly mixed, at best. It appears these damn theater queens continue to hate on “Hollywood” celebs that cross to the Great White Way.
Among the few clear fans of Martin in his lead role as Che is Mark Kennedy, theater critic for AP. He writes, “He sings beautifully, dances gracefully, athletically climbs ladders, plays his role with a knowing sneer and elicits drools in his suspenders and tight white shirt. He even makes a mustache work. Ricky Martin is easily the best thing about this revival.”
Of course, The New York Times‘ curmudgeonly Ben Brantley, who pretty much hates everything, had nothing nice to say about Ricky: “Despite the hard work of its spirited leading lady, the Argentine actress Elena Roger—supported by a barely there Ricky Martin and a sterling Michael Cerveris—this musical combination of history pageant and requiem Mass feels about as warmblooded as a gilded mummy.” Blah, blah, blah… yeah, pretty much what one would expect from the ever-snippy Ben, right?
The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, thinks Roger pretty much sucks: “She’s a good actor and a wonderful dancer, but her voice is small and shrill, and she hasn’t an ounce of star quality.
Melissa Rose Bernardo from Entertainment Weekly, agrees: “She’s a fierce dancer. But more often than not, she’s shrill and pitchy.”
The 1979 Broadway debut of Evita catapulted the careers of Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, and the 1996 movie version gave Madonna a boost in respect. Ricky is packing the house. So critics be damned. *