Frida Kahlo’s life is as vibrant as her work.
The iconic Mexican artist will be celebrated with “Frida – The Musical,” a “bio-musical” about her life, coming to the Gallo Center for the Arts on Saturday.
The Mexico City production, which will be performed in English, features a cast of some 30 actors, singers and dancers. The piece took home the Lady of Victory prize as the best Mexican musical of the year in 2008.
New Gallo Center board member Virginia Madueño said she was excited to have the painter’s life brought to the Modesto stage.
“Her life, being a strong woman and what she was able to create made her an icon for women and women’s rights,” Madueño said. “She became her own artist and was in her own right a very strong and influential woman. The time she was raised in, that was almost unheard of.”
Born in 1907, Kahlo is revered as a champion of both Mexican indigenous traditions and feminist principals for her displays of national pride and the female experience. Known for her striking self-portraits, which display her strong brow line, Kahlo was able to emerge from the shadow of her famous husband, the artist Diego Rivera. She also famously had a relationship with communist leader Leon Trotsky. Kahlo also suffered lifelong health problems, most stemming from a traffic accident she was in as a teenager.
The production stars Jackie Fernandez as Frida, Darling Lucas as the young Frida, Al Castillo as Diego Rivera and David Trillo as Leon Trotsky. The musical touches on the physical and emotional trials Kahlo faced in her life, as well as her artistic expression.
Madueño said she hopes the show will bring in a new audience to the Gallo Center and help broaden the venue’s appeal to the wider community.
“This will probably be the first for many in the Latino community to come to the Gallo Center,” she said. “I take it very seriously bringing in entertainment to the Gallo Center that will be more inclusive. We need to be very responsive to this very large segment of our population.”