Even in her early days as an obscure radio actress, the natively keen-minded Felicia exploits every opportunity to obtain personal recognition. She meets a young army Colonel, who launches her into the stratosphere of society, and who, after a coup, becomes President of the Republic. Arranging to become his wife and the First Lady, Felicia accumulates more and more power for herself, becoming lady bountiful to her adoring "Strongbacks." She begins to overshadow her husband, dominating the wealth and politics of her country and moving toward a kind of sainthood which will make her position unassailable. But despite her triumphant rise, Felicia is unable to gain what she wants most—acceptance by the social and intellectual elite of the nation. Rejection by the Pope is the final indignity which breaks her spirit and health. Her husband falls heir to an empty empire; as the play ends, there are intimations that, without her exotic aura, all will be lost as quickly and dramatically as it was created.
Produced on Broadway as DIAMOND ORCHID. The playwrights have combined the glamour and wit of MAME with the dramatic power of INHERIT THE WIND to shape a compelling and absorbing story of a dynamic woman who, like Evita Peron, rises from obscurity to the domination of a Latin-American country. "A stirring theatrical creation." —Dallas (Tex.) Morning News. "Blazing excitement! In scene after scene, the craftsmanship of the Messrs. Lawrence and Lee at creating drama of enthralling bold and sweeping design is asserted, along with their skill at stirring the mind." —Dallas (Tex.) Times Herald.