04/06/2012 12:44 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2012

'Evita' On Broadway Draws Mixed Reviews, So We Thought We'd Make The Critics Talk About It

The reviews are in for the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita," and it feels like everyone went to a different show. The AP is swooning over Ricky Martin and no one else, the Wall Street Journal says it's Michael Cerveris who steals the show as Juan Peron, and the New York Times isn't really into any of it. The only thing anyone seems to agree on is that Evita's voice needs some work. Yikes. With all this dissension in the air, it seems the only way to pull a meaningful assessment out is by starting, as they say, a dialogue. To make it happen, we're launching a new structure we'd like to call "E-Chatting With The Critics," in which we, your humble moderators, make our way through the reviews from the biggest dailies and fashion a conversation out of the standout lines. Like with any worthwhile game, it gets less confusing once you start to play. Shall we?

Hello Mark Kennedy, theater critic for the AP. It seems like you have something to say about Ricky Martin, who plays Che. Oh there you go talking already!

Well! Sounds like you loved Ricky Martin! Any other thoughts?

Ok! Think we've got it then. Ricky Martin...totally 100 percent good. What about the other people though? Say, Elena Roger, the acclaimed Argentinian stage actress who plays, you know, Evita? Or Michael Cerveris as the fiery Juan Peron?

You...are a focused man, Mark Kennedy, and we're going to have to cut you off. Ben Brantley, from the New York Times, how's it looking from your vantage point? Bonus points if you talk about someone other than Ricky Martin.

It looks like the uncredited reviewer at the New York Daily News is nodding. Yep, yes, he or she is. Daily News Reviewer: you also felt Ms. Roger's singing failed to meet expectations?

Ouch. Howard Shapiro, at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Is that your raised hand? Go right ahead sir, and congrats on the prestigious new editorial management.

Mr. Teachout at the Wall Street Journal -- what do you think was the issue?

Oh my. Business Week's Jeremy Gerard is violently shaking his head right now.

Melissa Rose Bernardo from Entertainment Weekly, you seem to have a charming counter-argument/pop cultural reference on the tip of your tongue.

It sounds like that's how most of you felt (but kudos to you, Gerard! Way to take the road less traveled). Unfortunately though, we're going to have to leave things slightly unresolved. Time is running out, or as it were, the post is getting too long. Can we get closing thoughts all around? Melissa, let's start with you since you spoke last.

I'm sure Mark Kennedy would agree with you. Jeremy Gerard is indicating that he didn't write one of those statements that encapsulates all his thoughts on the show in a few well-chosen words, so we'll move back on down the line to Howard in Philly.

Real talk. NY Times writer Ben Brantley?

"A barely there Ricky Martin?" Surely Mark Kennedy, you will address this in your closing remark.