by Lauren Winsor Stenmoe
Last night, I had the immense pleasure of seeing FRUIT FLY, the world premiere of H.P. Mendoza’s latest musical. Being a relatively new transplant into SF, I wasn’t familiar with H.P. before last night. Now I wonder how I lived my life without his work. It’s about a young woman new to San Francisco who is a performance artist looking for a venue. Turns out, she’s a bit of a Fag Hag, excuse me, I mean a Fruit Fly.
Down at the Castro Theater, the energy emitting from the audience in response to the film was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. In that way, it was almost like an interactive live theater performance. I was laughing so hard I thought I might choke and I certainly wasn’t alone. It was one big inside joke, but everybody was in on it. From the moment “Public Transit” was crooned (“BACK DOOR!”), I was sold. It started off sprinting and just kept running faster and faster until the end. It kept topping itself vigor until it was about ready to explode. The energy, the comedy, the music all came together to make a film that is destined to be an SF classic. As the “Fag-Hag” lyrics came up on the screen, I could already see the sing-along screenings.
But you know what I was most impressed with? The animation. The crisp look of the intro credits, the San Francisco Tetris scene and the buildings illuminated with the music’s audio levels… brilliant. As an editor, I could hardly contain the ecstatic little geek in me. I can’t imagine how much fun those would have been to work on and they were executed flawlessly.
It was also such a kick to see the lovely people from CAAM make many cameos throughout the film like Easter Eggs. Go see it again and watch for them!
The music is so catchy – I’ve had it stuck in my head since. Riding the MUNI this morning, I just about burst into song and suppressed grins left and right. (Thank you H.P., for taking a bit of the stress out of my commute!) Doesn’t help that I picked up the soundtrack last night as well and have been singing, “We Are the Hag” around my building all morning.
Because FRUIT FLY is exactly as that song says: Fabulous. Fantastic. Fierce.