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Mexican painter Frida Kahlo had immeasurable talent and unlimited passion. Both these traits are about to take Queens by storm.

Flora Martínez will present her one-woman show Frida Libre at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park from Friday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 19. This run includes three presentations in English and two in Spanish.

Through dialogue, songs, dances, outfit changes and video projection, Martínez explores Frida’s art, success, sexuality and fervor, while depicting her unique life and unstable times. She will also participate in a Q&A session after each show.

Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón to a German father and mestiza mother in Coyoacán in 1907, Frida is by far the most influential female Latin American painter of all time. Her style mixed magical-realism — a big part of Spanish fiction writing at the time — with folk art and self-portraits. Her subject matters challenged gender, class, race, colonialism, religion and Mexican identity.

Frida also got involved in the Mexican Communist Party and survived two high-profile, immensely volatile marriages to famous muralist Diego Rivera when both were garnering international fame, exhibiting in Europe and the United States, and speaking out on politics at a time when Lenin and Trotsky were imposing Communism on Russia. Her 1954 death actually increased her popularity, creating a Fridamania that thrives today, inspiring books, movies, clothes and even coffee mugs.

Martínez, a Canadian-Colombian actress who became a household name in Latin America after starring in the Spanish-language film “Rosario Tijeras” in 2005, has been enthralled by Frida for more than 20 years. She even moved to Mexico to research her muse, studying her thick eyebrows, braids, fashion sense, peculiarities, inner demons and bouts of introversion.

Martínez, who has presented this piece for a few years in North and South America, sees Frida as a mix of contradictions: strong but fragile; expressive but quiet; passionate but mechanical. She also considers Frida to be a symbol of female liberation, partly because she made such a big splash in the art world when it was dominated by men and partly because she lived free of society’s social pressure.

Live music precedes each show, and a Frida pop-up shot will be open before and after each performance.

Tickets run from $20 to $42 with the following schedule: Nov 16, 7:30 p.m. (English); Nov 17, 8 p.m. (Spanish); Nov 18, 2 p.m. (Spanish) and 8 p.m. (English); and Nov 19, 3 p.m. (English with audio description available).

Images: Queens Theatre


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