Talented, fearless, and a visionary, Frida Kahlo was an art pioneer. Her life was filled with tragedy: a debilitating accident, infidelity, and illness, events well-documented in her self portraits. Frida’s life is also portrayed in the one-woman show Frida Liberada, currently playing at Urban Stages’ Outreach Octoberfest.
The play, written by Brigitte Viellieu-Davis, begins not with Frida’s life, but with her death. Frida, played by Diomargy Nuñez, enters from the back of the house, singing in Spanish about dying and finding peace with God. This Frida is dead and knows it, eager to share the story of her life with the audience. And share she does, speaking about her childhood and her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera–while playing all the characters.
But the most interesting character is Frida herself. Nuñez is an active, exuberant version of the aritst, singing, laughing, and moving about the stage through Lydia Fort’s clean direction. Three upstage panels show Frida’s paintings as she knew them. This Frida is alive and well–on the stage, and in our imaginations.
Frida Liberada plays until November 2nd at Urban Stages.