Frida - Stroke of Passion

Critics

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Reviews: 5

Audience

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Reviews: 0

The Frida of the title is, of course, the world-famous artist Frida Kahlo. The play begins on July 6, 1954, Frida’s 47th birthday. She will die exactly one week later. The narrative will explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death. (There is an official account of her cause of death, but how did she die really?) This is not all, however. It is the story of a woman living as vibrantly as she can despite dwindling health and a world of pain.

She attempts to continue painting. Partially anesthetized by a mixture of tequila and painkillers, she is visited by many lovers, male and female, singer Chavela Vargas, movie star Maria Felix, Communist politician Leon Trotsky, entertainer Josephine Baker, Cuban spy Teresa Proenza, photographer Tina Modotti, and Frida’s husband, painter and muralist Diego Rivera. Some are physically present in her room, others are recreated and present in her vivid memory.

The relationship between Frida and Diego is deeply complex. Diego is incapable of sexual monogamy, so much so that he practically pushes Frida into the arms of other lovers. Yet their emotional attachment to each other is surpassingly deep and a thing of wonder.
The show includes several iconic songs of the period, performed live. Among them: Paloma Negra, La Llorona, Piensa en mi, Estas Son Las Mananitas, Maria Bonita and Una Cabeza.

Written and directed by Odalys Nanin. Presented by Macha Theatre/ Films. In addition to Odalys Nanin, the cast of Frida- Stroke of Passion includes Oscar Basulto, Sandra Valls, Celeste Creel, Marjorie Burgos, Francisco Medina, Tricia Cruz, Kesia Elwin, David Ty Reza, Mantha Balourdou, Paul Cascante, and David Santamaria.

Reviews

Leigh Kennicott

Kahlo may be the most ubiquitous Mexican painter in the 20th Century. And, now, Odalys Nanin and her Macha Theatre bring Frida to life in Frida – Stroke of Passion, a guest production at Casa 0101. Nanin as Frida situates Kahlo in her last days, reminiscing about her many loves while attended by Nurse Judith (Tricia Cruz). One after another, a singer (Sandra Valls), a Cuban spy (Kesia Elwin), Josephine Baker (Celeste Creel), actress Maria Felix (Jorie Burgos), a photographer (Tina Modotti) and even Leon Trotsky (Paul Cascante), reappear in Frida’s memory. But the centerpiece of her love is always Diego (an overpowering Oscar Basulto). The exact conditions of her passing serve as the focal point for Nanin’s rendition of Kahlo’s last days. It is a narrative that maintains its riveting momentum until the very last moment.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


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Frida, Stroke of Passion plays out like a sort of fever dream as the tequila swilling, pill popping Frida Kahlo remembers her many lovers – most of them, but of course, women. Except, notably, her relations with Mexican Marxist muralist Diego Rivera. As depicted onstage, their relationship was stormy. In fact, in real life they married, divorced and then remarried. Diego and Frida had the kind of romance where the only thing more unbearable for them than being apart was being together...

sweet-sour - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


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The rich soil of Frida Kahlo’s life has, spreading just beneath its surface, the roots of a dozen plays merely awaiting the sun and nurturing of the right playwright’s shining creativity. With Frida – Stroke of Passion at Casa 0101 Theater, the wait continues.

sour - Ernest Kearney - The TVolution - ...read full review


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Directed by Odalys Nanin with assist direction by Corky Dominguez, FRIDA-STROKE OF PASSION is a play that is informative, entertaining, and even sexy at times.

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

The action slips in and out of a tenuous realism with Frida interacting with real characters–her philandering husband Diego (Oscar Basulto); Cuban spy, Teresa Proenza (Kesia Elwin); the well known singer, Chavela Vargas (Sandra Valls); and faithful family retainer, Manolo (Francisco Medina, who accompanies Ms. Valls with his guitar).

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

Kahlo may be the most ubiquitous Mexican painter in the 20th Century. And, now, Odalys Nanin and her Macha Theatre bring Frida to life in Frida – Stroke of Passion, a guest production at Casa 0101. Nanin as Frida situates Kahlo in her last days, reminiscing about her many loves while attended by Nurse Judith (Tricia Cruz). One after another, a singer (Sandra Valls), a Cuban spy (Kesia Elwin), Josephine Baker (Celeste Creel), actress Maria Felix (Jorie Burgos), a photographer (Tina Modotti) and even Leon Trotsky (Paul Cascante), reappear in Frida’s memory. But the centerpiece of her love is always Diego (an overpowering Oscar Basulto). The exact conditions of her passing serve as the focal point for Nanin’s rendition of Kahlo’s last days. It is a narrative that maintains its riveting momentum until the very last moment.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

Frida, Stroke of Passion plays out like a sort of fever dream as the tequila swilling, pill popping Frida Kahlo remembers her many lovers – most of them, but of course, women. Except, notably, her relations with Mexican Marxist muralist Diego Rivera. As depicted onstage, their relationship was stormy. In fact, in real life they married, divorced and then remarried. Diego and Frida had the kind of romance where the only thing more unbearable for them than being apart was being together...

sweet-sour - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Avatar

The rich soil of Frida Kahlo’s life has, spreading just beneath its surface, the roots of a dozen plays merely awaiting the sun and nurturing of the right playwright’s shining creativity. With Frida – Stroke of Passion at Casa 0101 Theater, the wait continues.

sour - Ernest Kearney - The TVolution - ...read full review


Avatar

Directed by Odalys Nanin with assist direction by Corky Dominguez, FRIDA-STROKE OF PASSION is a play that is informative, entertaining, and even sexy at times.

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

The action slips in and out of a tenuous realism with Frida interacting with real characters–her philandering husband Diego (Oscar Basulto); Cuban spy, Teresa Proenza (Kesia Elwin); the well known singer, Chavela Vargas (Sandra Valls); and faithful family retainer, Manolo (Francisco Medina, who accompanies Ms. Valls with his guitar).

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review