Act 1 – Scene Synopsis
The funeral and cremation of Frida Kahlo was quite a spectacle. At the cremation, as Frida’s body moves on a conveyor belt toward the flames, the heat causes her body to buckle and sit up, her hair catching on fire. The mourners exit in horror. Diego realizes too late, that Frida was the most important part of his entire life. Frida and Death watch Diego as he grieves (THE FUNERAL). On the final notes of The Funeral, calaveras form a living altar behind Frida. After a blackout, the stage is cleared leaving Frida and Death alone on stage (EVERYTHING CHANGES). Frida and Death journey back in time to 1919, when Frida is twelve years old, being taunted by children and comforted by her father. Three years later, Frida meets Diego Rivera for the first time. Frida attends the National Preparatory School, where she falls in love with Alejandro Gomez Arias (PATA DE PALO and THE PARASOL). On September 17, 1925 Frida and Alejandro are involved in a tragic accident that leaves Frida near death (THE ACCIDENT). For the next two years Frida is hospitalized where she undergoes numerous surgeries and painful treatments, as her desire to continue to live lessens. Alejandro dreams of continuing his education and leaves for Europe. Frida’s father, Guillermo, encourages Frida to paint as a way to express herself and as a result, Frida finds new inspiration to live (PAINTING and I DON’T WANT TOMORROW). Upon her release from the hospital, Frida takes her paintings to Diego Rivera for his opinion (THE MEETING). Diego becomes smitten with Frida as well as her art, and their courtship begins (THROUGH YOUR EYES). Frida and Diego are married on August 21, 1929. Frida learns at the wedding reception that life with Diego will be difficult (THE ELEPHANT AND THE DOVE.) Diego is offered commissions to create murals in three US cities (THE COMMISION). During their time in the US, Frida suffers miscarriages and abortions, while Diego has numerous affairs (THE SAN FRANCISCO LUNCHEON CLUB, THE ABORTION, ARE YOU JEWISH, MR. FORD? THE MISCARRIAGE, NEW YORK, DIEGO’S MURAL IS DESTROYED). Frida despises America along with the people she encounters, and longs to return to her home, La Casa Azul, in Mexico. Diego reluctantly agrees (MY DRESS HANGS THERE). They return to Mexico where Diego sulks as Frida creates. Diego has initiated an affair with Frida’s younger sister, Cristina. Frida discovers the affair. (MURDERED BY LIFE).
Act 2 – Scene Synopsis
Diego’s affair with Cristina destroys Frida, but she continues to turn her immense physical and emotional pain into creativity (A NECKLACE OF THORNS). Cristina, overcome with guilt, prays for forgiveness (FORGIVE ME). The unconventional life of Frida and Diego continues with interactions between politicians and artists (WHAT A CRAZY LIFE). The exiled Leon Trotsky arrives in Mexico. Frida initiates an affair with Trotsky in retaliation for Diego’s unfaithfulness (MOTHER RUSSIA). Trotsky’s wife, Natalia, endures her husband’s infidelity (I LOOK IN THE MIRROR). Frida is invited to New York and Paris for exhibitions (NEW YORK EXHIBITION and THE ART OF FRIDA KAHLO). Upon her return as a successful artist, Diego has pulled further away from Frida and he wishes to divorce (THE DIVORCE). Through her unbearable physical pain, and her emotional distress over Diego, Frida creates her greatest masterpieces (THE TWO FRIDAS). Leon Trotsky is assassinated (TROTSKY’S ASSASSINATION). Frida is implicated in the murder while Diego flees to San Francisco with a movie star. While in San Francisco, Diego realizes he needs Frida as his wife. Frida agrees, with conditions, and they re-marry in San Francisco (REMARRIAGE). They return to Mexico and Frida’s father dies. Frida questions God and her own existence (IF YOU EXIST). Frida spends the next two years in the hospital. Alejandro returns (HOSPITAL FIESTA). Against the orders of her doctors, Frida participates in a political demonstration protesting the US involvement in Guatemala (POR LA PAZ). It is now 1954 in Coyocan, Mexico, friends of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have gathered to celebrate Frida’s 47th birthday (FRIDA’S 47th BIRTHDAY/ LET THEM KILL ME TODAY). Frida gives Diego a ring for their upcoming anniversary and professes her ever present, unconditional love for Diego. He, in return, professes as much as he is able (IF I COULD LOVE YOU). Frida is left alone as she embraces her destiny and is reunited with herself as a young child and Death (I AM HOME).
“I paint myself over and over and nothing replaces my heartache.”-Frida Kahlo, in La Casa Azul The Musical