Evita, told entirely through song and dance, delves into the dynamic, larger-than-life persona of Argentina's infamous Eva Perón. It embarks on Eva's story in 1934, where the young girl from a village outside of Buenos Aires uses her feminine powers to climb the ladder of success, first as a model, then an actress, and finally as the second wife of dictator General Juan Perón. When Perón is elected president, Eva becomes the most influential woman in South America. Atop her pedestal, she attained worldwide praise and adoration from the Argentinean people as a defender of the poor, while glamor, power, and greed made her the world's first major political celebrity.
Although originally conceived as a record project, Evita was destined from the beginning for the stage. Because of the huge success enjoyed in London (almost 3,000 performances in the initial run), the Broadway production of Evita was nearly sold out before it even began. Evita opened its New York run at the Broadway Theatre in September of 1979 with Patti LuPone in the lead and Mandy Patinkin as the furtive Che Guevera. The production ran for over 1,500 performances and spawned several touring companies. The 1996 screen version of Evita featured Madonna and Antonio Banderas.