Review Roundup: EVITA Returns to Broadway Starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger & Michael Cerveris - All the Reviews!
EVITA opened tonight, April 5, back on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre! The company of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark musical is led by Ricky Martin as Che, Elena Roger in her Broadway debut as Eva Perón and Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón, along with Max von Essen as Migaldi and Rachel Potter as the Mistress. Check out our video preview here.
The creative team includes Scenic and Costume Designer Christopher Oram, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Mick Potter, Wig and Hair Designer Richard Mawbey, Projection Designer Zachary Borovay, and Music Supervisor/Director Kristen Blodgette. Orchestrations are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Cullen, and dance arrangements are by David Chase. Michael Grandage directs and Rob Ashford will choreographs the first new Broadway production of the musical since it debuted on Broadway over 30 years ago.
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: 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. ... I thought I was fully immune to the show’s signature song, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from having heard it everywhere (even discos) in my youth. But darned if that slippery thing, whose melody is a repeated leitmotif in the show, hasn’t attached itself like a leech all over again. And can anyone advise me about how to expel from my brain the jinglelike refrain, “I wanna be a part of B.A./Buenos Aires — Big Apple.” The show’s ads, borrowing from Mr. Rice’s lyrics, have it that “the truth is she never left you.” No, the notes she sings were just lying dormant, like a virus, waiting to infect our systems all over again.
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: Though Rogers' voice isn't strong, her singing has a raw ache and folky authenticity. She also moves like a gazelle, reinforcing Eva's beguiling sensuality and adding further sparkle to Ashford's earthy, vibrant dance numbers. The narrator, Che, isn't presented as the flamboyant revolutionary (based on Che Guevera) he became under Harold Prince's original direction. A charming Ricky Martin plays the character more as an amused, sometimes sympathetic spectator; though critical of Eva, as Rice's lyrics demand, he also conveys a certain tenderness.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: Much of the buzz coming from the new revival "Evita" has been about the spitfire Argentine playing the title role. But all of the heat actually comes from the guy shaking his bon-bon. Ricky Martin is easily the best thing about this revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's bio of Eva Peron, which opened Thursday at the Marquis Theatre. 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. In fact, maybe it's time for Broadway to have a new rule: Put Ricky Martin in everything. He would fit in happily at "Newsies." He would definitely enliven "Death of a Salesman." Heck, put him in "Mary Poppins" and watch the roof really lift off.
Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal: Never having seen Harold Prince's much-admired original production of "Evita," I'm not in a position to compare it to this one, and in a way I'm glad. Despite the inadequacies of its nominal star, Mr. Grandage's "Evita" is an impressive achievement that should be judged on its own merits, which are legion. Even if you don't like Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, it will hold your eye from curtain to curtain.