A theater troupe arrives in the beautiful northern Spanish city of Oviedo to stage an adaptation of Leopoldo Alas' 19th-century classic, "La Regenta." The group includes arrogant egomaniac Benjamin Olmo, married to prima donna Mariola Mayo, and depressive alcoholic Alvaro Mesia, who's hopelessly in love with Mariola. Ernesto de Villamarin is the mayor of Oviedo, married to young doctoral student Emma. Emma's mother, wacky widow Mina, claims Emma's father was an angel. Meanwhile, Ernesto is having an affair with journalist Barbara, and when Benjamin falls for Emma, tragedy ensues.