Frida & ID
The story

Book and Lyrics by Adair Seldon
Music by Keiko Takeda

In 1953, Frida Kahlo’s one-woman show is about to open in a Mexico City art gallery (MEXICO’S EYES). An anxious crowd awaits the arrival of the ailing, 46-year-old artist. A siren blares, and Frida makes a dramatic entrance on an ambulance stretcher.

We flash back to 1922. The famous muralist, Diego Rivera, is painting in the National Preparatory School and talking to his mural (MURALS ‘N WALLS) as his angry wife, Lupe, comically demands a divorce because of his philandering. A curious 14-year-old Frida has come to watch the maestro paint and is clearly enamored with him.

A few years later, Frida is seriously injured in a streetcar accident and is haunted by a death character, Muerto. The newly recovered 21-year-old takes some of her paintings to the 42-year-old Rivera seeking his professional advice (YOU MUST PAINT). During a Day of the Dead festival (DEVIL DIVINE), their relationship turns to romance and soon to marriage (SENORA DIEGO RIVERA).

Death quote from Frida Kahlo

Rivera, a high-ranking official in the Mexican Communist Party, accepts a government commission to paint a mural in the National Palace. As a result, he is expelled from the party (YOU CALL YOURSELF A COMMUNIST). His next commission is a mural for Henry Ford, and the couple is off to America. In Detroit, Kahlo suffers a painful miscarriage and is haunted by Muerto again. Grief-stricken, she embarks on a cathartic series of self-portraits (I PAINT MYSELF) and a new self-image via her unique style of dressing (ONE-WOMAN SHOW). Meanwhile, Rivera accepts a commission to paint the new Rockefeller Center in New York (GLAMOROUS INDUSTRY). At a high society cocktail party hosted by Nelson Rockefeller, Frida makes it sardonically clear that she is not happy in America (GRINGOLAND). Later, while painting the mural, Diego infuriates Rockefeller with his large portrait of Lenin, and the mural is destroyed (YOU’RE JUST A DIRTY COMMUNIST).

After returning to Mexico (THE BLUE HOUSE), Diego paints Frida’s younger sister, Cristina, and the relationship turns physical. Frida retaliates by having a steamy affair with new political refugee, Leon Trotsky (LET’S BEGIN THE FEAST). Determined to make it on her own, Frida exhibits her work in New York and becomes the toast of the Paris art world (SHE’S ONE OF US). She has lovers, but is still in constant communication with Diego. She returns to Mexico, hoping to reconcile, only to find him involved in a new affair. They divorce, and Diego is unhappy (I NEED MY FRIDA) as Frida’s health declines.

Trotsky is assassinated, and Rivera is a suspect, in hiding. Frida, anxious from alcohol and pain pills, fears Diego is dead (EVERY DAY I DIE A LITTLE MORE). Finally able to contact her, they warmly reconcile and remarry (PARA LA VIDA). As Frida’s health deteriorates, we return to her wildly successful one-woman retrospective from the prologue. Shortly afterwards, Muerto comes for Frida, and she succumbs to him at the age of 47. During her funeral, the crowd sings (MEXICO’S EYES).


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