Ricky Martin, 40, is back on Broadway for the first time since 1996, this time playing narrator Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita.

The new production of Evita — a play about the life of Eva Peron, wife of Argentine president Juan Peron, played by Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris (also pictured), respectively — is "more authentically Latin" than in previous tellings, reports New York's The Daily News.

"I wanted to give the show a new direction," said Michael Grandage, who also directed the popular 2006 West End production of the play. "It's reflected in the music, the choreography, and certainly the casting."

And having a household name like Martin in your cast isn't a bad thing, either. Since his 1996 stage role as Marius in Les Miserables, the singer has released five albums and also become the proud father of twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, born via surrogacy. And the crowd loves him in the versatile 'chorus' role, Che, who represents the voice of the Argentinian people. "Che can be so many people at the same time," Martin said of his new character. "He's a chameleon … an open canvas. I think I can play it differently every night with dignity."

At Monday night's preview performance, the audience could hardly contain themselves as Martin took the stage. The musician and consummate performer couldn't have asked for anything more. "I was begging for the energy of the audience, and that's what we got tonight," he said after the show. "It was a beautiful evening."

Previews of Evita run throughout March, with the official opening scheduled for April 5.

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