Picture a story narrated by Che (Based on Che Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist), as he like a traditional Greek chorus takes us back in time to the point at which Evita Perón’s story begins.
We are drawn in as Agustín Magaldi is introduced to Eva Duarte, a flirtatious 15-year-old tango singer. He’s a singer on a travelling circuit just passing through and she was supposed to be a one-night-stand - but not young Eva. Her family and small-town community threaten to expose Magaldi and ruin his career. To avoid trouble, he agrees to take Eva to Buenos Aires where she quickly lands her first job and ultimately becomes a successful stage, radio and film actress.
Eva’s appearance is that of a bombshell, with a sort of sex-kitten personality, but in truth she is shrewd, very smart and a fighter. She also has the good fortune of as a lyric from the show says, "being in the right place at the perfect time."
Forward ten years later, to 1944 (remember true story!) and we have her first encounter with Colonel Juan Perón, the two meet at a charity event to benefit victims of an earthquake that devastated the town of San Juan, Argentina.
The two marry the following year and, in 1946, with her support, Perón is elected President of Argentina. Over the next six years, Eva becomes a powerful force within the trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of labor rights. She also runs the Ministries of Labor and Health, founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed women’s suffrage in Argentina, traveled Europe as a diplomat and founded the nation’s first large-scale female political party.
In 1951, Eva announced her candidacy for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving great support from the Perónist political base, low-income and working class Argentines, referred to as Descamisados or "shirtless ones."
But like any heroine, she had her enemies and opposition from the nation’s military and bourgeoisie. That, coupled with her declining health, ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy. In 1952, shortly before her death from cancer at the age of 33, Eva was given the title of "Spiritual Leader of the Nation" by the Argentine Congress. Eva Perón was given a state funeral, an honor generally reserved for heads of state. In a fascinating twist, Perón was not buried for 20 years, due to the disappearance of her body shortly after her funeral and it did not reappear for 17 years.
The story of Evita - now couple that with Webber’s incredible music and a hit Broadway show is born.