51zlmcdomll-_sy445_Madonna, Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Pryce; music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Somehow I missed the 1996 release of “Evita.”  Somehow, I missed the entire Madonna excitement that went on for years.  But recently, friends hosted a dinner and showing of the film.  I was won over — the film is long, but seemed to go by so quickly.  There are almost no spoken words; everything is musical, with a very few lines of dialogue.  The storyline is made clear by the intermittent sung narrative by Che (Banderas), who shifts costumes and persona to match the times as the story moves through Eva’s short life.

Madonna was a fabulous Evita, seeming so real as she climbed from poverty to power, so pretty as a young girl and so overwhelmingly glamorous as Eva Peron.  And so determined, so demanding and so successful — for a while — as a political phenomenon who simply overwhelmed everyone around her, especially Peron.   And of course, the music — even if you don’t love Andrew Lloyd Webber’s entrancing melodies, you have to admit that it’s hard to get them out of your head.

So if you’ve seen it, it’s worth a revisit.  And if you haven’t, try it one evening.  You’ll find yourself downloading all the rest of Webber’s famous songs the next morning