NEW YORK — Ricky Martin says Broadway is a monster that requires discipline, concentration and dedication, but "Evita'"s "Che" is feeling so happy and so at home that he can't imagine moving for a while.
"I would love to do Broadway the rest of my life!" Martin told The Associated Press on Tuesday, breaking a months-long silence he subjected himself to in order to preserve a voice that he's been using eight shows a week, since March and until January.
In an interview at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, which houses the musical based on the life of Argentina's first lady Eva Peron, Martin said he's never been challenged as much as in the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacle and that this is, precisely, what has him "hooked" on Broadway, where he debuted in 1996 as Marius in "Les Miserables."
Martin has already decided to stay in the Big Apple at least for a while, calling it a "fascinating" and multicultural city for his soon-to-be-4 twins, Matteo and Valentino.
AP: You were born for the stage and certainly for one on Broadway. Any immediate plans to work on other musicals or plays after "Evita"?
Martin: I love being onstage. I love what's happening with "Evita." The reaction that I get every night from the audience, the emotions, the feeling, what I'm feeling every night onstage is, is simply beautiful. It's never the same, you never get bored, it's very challenging. Do I want to come back to Broadway? I would love to do Broadway the rest of my life! Because it's challenging, because it makes me grow as an actor, as an entertainer, as an artist, and that's what I need, that's what I'm hooked on.
AP: Would you consider staying here in New York?
Martin: I AM staying here in New York! Those are my plans. Anything can change in show business, you know how it goes, everything changes from one day to the other. But my idea is to stay here for a while.
AP: You have worked eight shows a week for months now and you still have until January to go. Has this taken a toll on you, physically, emotionally?
Martin: If you thought that you knew about discipline, well my level of discipline was very basic until I started doing this show specifically. The role of Che is very challenging every night, but I'm really enjoying this. I'm dealing with so many emotions, every day, in front of an audience. That vulnerability is ... addictive. I'm very happy to do this.
AP: Do you get any "me" time at all?
Martin: You have to. The thing is that with the show I have a really amazing schedule. I wake up in the morning, I take the kids to school, then I come back home and I spend time in silence, which is very important. I meditate. I read the newspaper or I just work out and come back but it is very important for me to be centered and focused to be able to pull out this show. It's a lot of work. It's two hours of intense adrenaline, physically and mentally.
AP: You just mentioned your kids and your plans to stay in New York. How is it to live with young children in New York?
Martin: New York City is an amazing place to raise children. I mean, there's so much you can do with kids here: all kinds of museums, you have the park (Central Park), you have kids from all over the world! My kids are going to school literally with kids from all over the world so they're exposed to so much at such a young age. It's such a fascinating city, I love New York City. It really is amazing.
AP: Anything you can't wait to do after "Evita"?
Martin: I'm not thinking about what's happening after "Evita." I don't want to go there. Not yet. Let's see what happens. I'm having the time of my life right now. Just to be able to be back on Broadway and to be surrounded by such amazing actresses, actors, directors, choreographers. It's just an amazing group of people. I learn so much from them every night. I think I'm very lucky, so "Evita" for me is everything at the moment. And I want to keep it that way.
AP: Regarding your voice, how do you take care of it to be able to perform eight shows a week? You've performed all your life but...
Martin: Broadway is another monster. I've been touring since I was 12 years old and I love being on the road – one day you're here, next day it's snowing, and the next you are in a desert and it's 110 degrees. So I guess I'm kind of used to the madness physically that you go to when you are an entertainer. But it's been great.
AP: Any other shows you've seen that you've enjoyed since you've been here?
Martin: I haven't been able to go to another show. Because that only day that I have off I go home and I spend it with my kids. I guess when I'm done with "Evita" I will.
AP: Have your kids seen "Evita"?
Martin: They come with me to the theater a lot, but it's a long show and it's deep... No, they haven't been able to see "Evita" ... (But) They sing the songs! (laughs)
Sigal Ratner-Arias is the Spanish Entertainment Editor of The Associated Press. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner