Act 1 – Scene Synopsis
- It is 1954 in Coyoacán, Mexico. The friends of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have gathered to celebrate Frida’s 47th birthday. The fiesta also expresses the history and national pride of Mexico Frida’s 47th Birthday/ Let Them Kill Me Today.
- The guests depart and Frida is left alone, she reflects on her great love for Diego, her art, her pain and her desire to leave this world Diego’s Eyes.
- We travel back in time to 1919, where Frida is twelve years old and she is taunted by other children as well as adults. Three years later, Frida meets Diego Rivera for the first time and she vows to someday marry him and have his child. Again, three years later, Frida is one of a select few female students to attend the National Preparatory School, where she becomes involved with a group of intellectual rebels known as “The Cachuchas.” Frida falls in love with the charismatic leader of The Cachuchas, Alejandro Gomez Arias. Pata de Palo.
- On September 17, 1925 Frida makes a fateful decision that will forever alter her world. The Parasol. Frida and Alejandro are involved in a tragic accident that leaves Frida near death. The Accident.
- For the next two years, Frida is hospitalized and she undergoes numerous surgeries and painful treatments. Frida becomes despondent and obsessive over Alejandro and all those around her. Despite his love for Frida, Alejandro dreams of continuing his education and new adventures in Europe. Although Frida begs him to stay, he leaves, and she has no will to survive. I Don’t Want Tomorrow. Frida’s loving father, Guillermo, bring her paints and brushes and builds a special easel so she can paint in bed. He encourages her to paint what she feels. Gaining strength through her art, Frida wills herself to survive. Painting.
- Upon her release from the hospital, Frida takes her paintings to Diego Rivera for his opinion. The Meeting.
- Diego becomes smitten with the young Frida and their courtship beings. Through Diego, Frida becomes involved in the Communist Party where she meets numerous famous politicians and artists. Frida and Diego marry on August 21, 1929. Frida learns at the wedding reception that life with Diego will be difficult.
The Elephant and the Dove.
- Unexpectedly, Diego’s ex-wife, Lupe, takes Frida under her wing, and teaches her how to cook some of Diego’s favorite foods. Frida announces she is pregnant. Cooking for Diego.
- Diego is offered a commission to paint in San Francisco. The Commission. Frida and Diego travel to San Francisco where they are treated like celebrities and meet many influential philanthropists. Frida despises the American people. The San Francisco Luncheon Club. While in San Francisco, Frida is forced to abort her child due to physical complications. The Abortion.
- Diego is then offered a commission in Detroit. The Second Commission While in Detroit, they meet influential patrons of the arts including Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford. Are you Jewish, Mr. Ford?
- Frida becomes pregnant again, but this time loses the child to a miscarriage.
- Diego is offered a third commission and travels to New York to paint a mural in the Rockefeller Center The Third Commission. While in New York, Frida and Diego begin to change. Frida hates America and the people more and more, while Diego becomes enraptured with America. New York.
- Diego refuses to remove a portrait of Lenin in his mural and the mural is destroyed Diego’s Mural is Destroyed. Frida longs to return to Mexico. My Dress Hangs There. Diego reluctantly agrees, but upon their return, Diego sulks and pouts. Frida’s mother dies. Diego begins an affair with Frida’s younger sister, Cristina.
- Frida discovers the affair. Murdered by Life.
End of Act 1
Act 2 – Scene Synopsis
- Although Diego has never been faithful to Frida, his affair with her sister, Cristina, destroys Frida. Still, she continues to turn her immense physical and emotional pain into creativity, despite her desire to die. A Necklace of Thorns.
- Cristina, overcome with guilt, prays for forgiveness. Cristina and Frida eventually reconcile. Forgive Me.
- Frida and Diego’s marriage remains tumultuous. He continues to have numerous affairs, and to retaliate, Frida begins to have affairs with famous men and women. What a Crazy Life.
- The deported Soviet leader, Leon Trotsky, arrives in Mexico with Diego’s assistance. Rivera and Trotsky become close friends and more involved in politics. Mother Russia. Frida initiates an affair with Trotsky.
- Trotsky’s wife, Natalia, endures her husband’s infidelity, the same as Frida endures Diego’s infidelity. I Look in the Mirror.
- Frida is invited to New York for a solo exhibition of her art. Diego, who is always supportive of her work, encourages her to go. New York Exhibition. The show is a huge success and Frida continues to Paris where her work is praised by all, including Picasso, Tanguy and Kandinsky. The Art of Frida Kahlo. Frida hates the French, longs for Mexico, and longs for her great love, Diego. My Dress Hangs There/reprise.
- Upon her triumphant return from France, Diego has pulled further away from Frida and he wishes to divorce. Frida agrees, merely to please Diego and hold on to him, but she continues to grieve silently.
- Through her unbearable physical pain, and her emotional pain over Diego, Frida will create her greatest masterpieces. The Two Fridas.
Leon Trotsky is assassinated. Frida is implicated in the murder and jailed. Diego flees the country with the famous American movie star, Paulette Goddard. Trotsky’s Assassination.
- While in San Francisco, Diego realizes he needs Frida as his wife. Frida agrees and they re-marry in San Francisco, but with new marital conditions. The next few years are happy times even though Frida’s health continues to deteriorate. Remarriage.
- Frida’s father dies. Frida questions God and her own existence. If You Exist.
- Due to her failing health, Frida spends the next two years in the hospital, and again endures numerous surgeries and treatments, and eventually leg amputation. During the past few years Frida has become addicted to pain killers and now drinks heavily. Hospital Fiesta.
- Upon her release from the hospital, her friends and Diego organize a solo exhibition of her work in Mexico, which helps to lift her spirits temporarily.
Against the order of her doctors, Frida participates in a political demonstration.
Por La Paz.
- Having caught pneumonia, Frida wills herself to survive for one more fiesta, her 47th birthday. After the party 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 again alone and is ready to die. I Am Home. Frida dies.
- Her funeral proves to be as eventful and bizarre as her life. The Funeral.
- Diego realizes that Frida was the most important part of his entire life.
A Victim of Loneliness.
“I paint myself over and over and nothing replaces my heartache.”-Frida Kahlo, in La Casa Azul The Musical