Ricky Martin Saying Goodbye to 'Evita'

Ricky Martin Saying Goodbye to 'Evita'

Ricky Martin fans have until the end of January to see the pop superstar in Broadway's "Evita." Martin will play his final performance as Che in the current revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical portrait of Eva Perón on January 26. Argentine actress Elena Roger, who stars as Eva, and Michael Cerveris, who plays Juan Perón, will also be leaving the cast, according to show producers Hal Luftig and Scott Sanders.

Martin, who recently took the title of "Sexiest Man on Broadway" in a poll by Broadway.com, received mixed reviews when the show opened last April. At a performance earlier this month attended by Billboard, Martin proved to have mastered the difficult challenge of standing out in a role other than that of Ricky Martin, Latin pop idol -- although that clearly would have been enough for the fans who screamed delightedly when he stepped on stage. His performance in the demanding role of the omnipresent narrator was distinctly more subtle than the characteristic high-powered ebullience of his concerts. He created a character with a charming presence that remained commanding throughout the show. His dancing, as expected, was a highlight.

"Evita 1 of the most amazing cycles of my career," Martin tweeted this morning. "Discipline and growth…Thanks so much for your applause."

The fans who came to the musical to see their idol up close on stage for two-and-a-half hours surely helped to make "Evita" a hit. The show broke the Broadway weekly box office sales record after only six performances. It has broken its own record six times since, earning $1,586,362 for eight consecutive performances. A soundtrack album, released in June, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's cast album chart and was the top selling iTunes Soundtrack in Argentina. The album has sold 10,000 copies to date in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Martin, who appeared earlier this year as Spanish teacher David Martinez on the TV show "Glee," has signed a deal with NBC/Universal's Universal Television to star in his own series. He has tweeted about plans to get back into the studio and work on some new music and the star is also planning on writing a children's book, according to his publicist, John Reilly at Rogers & Cowan.

The actors who will replace Martin, Rogers and Cerveris will be announced later.