We all know it hasn’t been easy for the LGBTQ community throughout history and we all know we still have a way to go with equal rights, acceptance, and progress but sometimes, I think we forget how truly difficult it was through time. For Pride Month, 2018 Tony Award-winning LA MAMA presented13 Fruitcakes, written and directed by BYUNGKOO AHN as part of Stonewall 50 at LA MAMA festival at the Ellen Stewart Theater (66 E. 4 St.) in Manhattan, it ran June 13-16.
BYUNGKOO AHN returns to La MaMa having previously directed a Korean adaptation of HAMLET in 2011, described by The New York Times critic as “Intense. The production creates a delicious mood of menace and is beguiling to watch, a reinterpretation with a dark mind all its own.”
13 FRUITCAKES is comprised of 13 musical vignettes, with beautiful original songs composed by Gihieh Lee; and lyrics by Lorca, Wilde, Whitman and other Queer Poets, with Electronic Music by Los Angeles Laptop Collective.
13 FRUITCAKES depicts the story of Orlando, a fictional character, who inspires and encourages people to start fighting against social injustice and oppression by telling them stories about great gay ancestors, highlighting 13 noteworthy LGBTQ+ figures and their impact throughout history: from Eleanor Roosevelt to Hans Christian Andersen to Alan Turing to Leonardo da Vinci. The production cast is comprised of Korean actors – including ‘More’ Zimin, the most prominent drag performer in Korea.
As I said, it was a beautiful time filled with music, colors, dancing, and history. It felt like a drag show mixed with an opera with a touch of Cirque du Soleil. I could tell everyone was enjoying it by the gasps and applause after the numbers. If you have a chance to see it, I’d recommend it as a must see. Shout out to Theo Cote for the lovely pictures!