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A joyful and thrilling ‘On Your Feet!’ comes to life in Spanish at GALA

By Ajani Jones

This article was first published in DC Metro Theater Arts.

A surge of barely contained excitement washed over the audience as those first few iconic notes of “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” blared to life. When Gaby Albo took the stage, it was as if we were watching Gloria Estefan, the legend herself, perform. Albo’s electrifying presence filled the room as her energetic performance perfectly set the tone for what would be the next two hours of captivating performances and cathartic storytelling.

On Your Feet! La historia de Emilio y Gloria Estefan !En Español! captures the awe-inspiring legacy of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. GALA Hispanic Theatre’s completely Spanish rendition of the 2018 Broadway musical, directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado, managed to perfectly recount the couple’s hard-fought rise to fame as their band, the Miami Sound Machine, became the first Latin-inspired band to cross over to mainstream pop success in the United States.

The musical wastes no time captivating its audience. The opening scene encapsulates the brilliance of the entire show as Albo’s stunning vocals and dazzling stage presence are immediately on full display. Her performance as the magnificent Gloria Estefan was a wonder throughout the entire show. Albo perfectly portrayed the star’s thrilling journey to fame, seamlessly capturing her charisma and determination as well as her otherworldly stage presence and killer voice.

As the scene transitions into a short exchange between Gloria, Emilio (Samuel Garnica), and their son Nayib (Winsley de Jesús), the sheer chemistry among the cast is highly apparent. The three easily bounce off one another, resulting in a convincing and heartwarming portrayal of the love they have for one another, a kind of overwhelming chemistry that would continue to shine through as the show went on.

The supporting cast of On Your Feet! also delivered equally strong and compelling performances. Fran Tapia and Madelin Marchant, who played Gloria’s mother and Grandmother, Gloria Fajardo and Consuelo respectively, worked excellently together in their portrayal of the mother figures in Gloria Estefan’s life. While their characters were strong complements to the story of the primary focus of the show, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, they were also able to undeniably hold their own as fully fleshed-out characters for the audience.

In her showstopping performance of “Mi Tierra,” Tapia delivered her lines with immeasurable fervor and grace. She stunned the audience with her breathtaking vocal performance and stage presence, while also maintaining their complete interest in the backstory of her own character. Like her, many of the other cast members delivered wonderfully charismatic and vocally thrilling performances that kept the audience invested and served to fortify the strength of the show and its emotional impact.

Due to the undeniable strength of its cast, the show does an excellent job of showcasing the highs and lows of Gloria Estefan’s rise to fame. In its entirety, On Your Feet! is a rather joyful experience filled with countless moments of laughter and cheer. The audience cannot help but celebrate alongside Gloria and Emilio as they are finally able to carve their way onto the U.S. music scene. However, alongside these cathartic and joyous moments also come low moments of conflict and despair. Whether it be Gloria’s conflict with her mother or the journey toward recovery following her accident, the cast maintains their strong portrayals of their characters.

While the musical was performed almost entirely in Spanish (with screens on either side of the stage providing English subtitles for non-Spanish speakers in the audience), the sheer power and emotional weight of every scene and musical number were not lost. Each cast member gave it their all, resulting in poignant performances that transcended any potential language barriers. The undeniable power of the cast’s performances left the audience, even non-Spanish speakers like me, hanging onto every word, purely captivated by the world created on the stage.

The performances of the cast and the compelling narrative of On Your Feet! were definitely high points of the night. However, these elements were complemented, and arguably enhanced, by the captivating dance and musical performances throughout the show’s duration.

Walter “Bobby” McCoy’s musical direction was exceptional as the musical elements of the show, paired with the wonderful sound design of Matthew Rowe, were immaculately crafted. The sheer amount of care and time that went into the music behind each scene was clear as each note paired perfectly with the action on stage. Salgado’s choreography was fluid and energetic, adding an additional layer of life to the already electrifying musical performances.

In tandem with the musical and performance elements of the show, the light and staging design of On Your Feet! also added to the show’s interest. The lights (Christopher Annas-Lee) and projections (Patrick Lord) transport you into each scene, enhancing that electric feeling of every musical number and allowing the audience to feel as if they were actually watching Gloria Estefan perform. Jeannette Christensen’s dazzling costumes added flair.

On Your Feet! was a brilliant glimpse into the journey of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The great care that went into the show’s production really shined through as it delivered a heartwarming story, captivating performances, and electrifying beats that would leave the audience dancing along as the cast gave their final bows.

Running Time: Two and a half hours, plus a 20-minute intermission.

On Your Feet! en español plays through June 5, 2022, at GALA Hispanic Theatre – 3333 14th Street NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets ($35–$65), call the box office at (202) 234-7174 or go online. In Spanish with English surtitles.

A stellar ‘Hairspray’ on tour at the National can’t stop the beat

by Michael Sainte-Andress

This article was first published in DC Theater Arts here.

This Hairspray was the third go-around for me! I saw the show first on Broadway, with R&B star Tevin Campbell as Seaweed, then at Kennedy Center, and last night at the National.

Each time I was thoroughly entertained, and each time it felt fresh and inspiring. So I was trying to come up with a word that truly expresses my affection for this show and it is rousing!

Because of technical difficulties, there was a 30-minute delay before the curtain, which seemed like an eternity. But the wait was well worth it. The energy and exuberance were front and center and remained throughout the show. You would think my familiarity with the show would render it without the surprises one hopes for in musical theater. However, this performance gave tremendous witness to what talent, expertise, imagination, and highly skilled technical production values can do to “an old chestnut.”

Let’s start with the casting: the lead role of Tracy Turnblad, the plump and cruelly maligned teenager who just wants to be on a local TV dance show was portrayed by Faith Northcutt, the understudy. Seeing her it was hard to imagine how much better the original lead, Niki Metcalf, could possibly be. From Northcutt’s initial appearance getting out of bed and singing “Good Morning Baltimore,” she draws you in with her vocal clarity and melodic playfulness (much like you would expect of a 16-year-old). In the script, Tracy’s physicality brings her scorn and criticism from her peers, showing how senseless and cruel body shaming can be. But the vulnerability Northcutt conveys really underlies her true strength of character. Brava!

The second standout performance is the role of Tracy’s mother, Edna, a more mature version of her daughter. This role was originated by the inimitable Harvey Fierstein, and his brilliance designated drag casting for all future productions. Edna is portrayed by Andrew Levitt, a standout of Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. His comic sensibility and physical adroitness (for a 6-foot-4-inch man in women’s clothes) are a joy to behold, and the interplay between him and Tracy as well as with Edna’s husband, Wilbur (Christopher Swan), is a touching portrait of familial love, support, and understanding. Wow!

Then there is Motormouth Maybelle (Sandie Lee), a proud, middle-aged Black mother who hosts a dance show for Black teenagers but who is also a proud and stalwart crusader for racial equality in her community. She is authoritative, without being domineering, and is a woman who has learned the hard lessons of racial discrimination. She brings it out forcefully in her beautifully rendered “I Know Where I’ve Been,” a song that gives the show a stirring moment of insight and poignance not generally expected in musicals. Kudos!

Finally, this company of performers is all accomplished as singers, dancers, and definitely actors, and their ensemble enactments are a director’s satisfaction and an audience’s joy. The technical support is equally outstanding. The direction of Matt Lenz, the choreography of Michelle Lynch, the costumes by William Ivey Long, the scenic design by David Rockwell, the wigs and hair design by Paul Huntley and Richard Mawbey, the lighting design by Paul Miller, and the sound design by Shannon Slaton are all top-notch and make the telling of this timeless story all the more believable and meaningful.

It all ends with a celebratory, spirited, and jubilant rendition of “You Can’t Stop the Beat!” Yeah, rousing is just the right word for this stellar production.

Running Time: Approximately two hours 30 minutes, including one intermission.

Hairspray plays through May 15, 2022, on tour at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. Evening performances each day are at 7:30 pm. Matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, are at 2 pm. Tickets (starting at $50) are available online.

Campy and heartwarming ‘Xanadu’ sparkles at Workhouse Arts Center

By Ajani Jones

This article was first published in DC Theater Arts here.

Campy in the best way possible, Xanadu is a goofy and lighthearted yet strangely heartwarming tale that pushes the boundaries of how much an audience is willing to suspend disbelief amidst bursts of laughter.

Xanadu, a Tony-nominated musical based on the 1980 film of the same name, delivers an inspiring story wrapped in a fantasy romance adventure. Workhouse Arts Center’s take on the show, directed and choreographed by Stefan Sittig, captures its whimsy and gut-busting comedy.

Xanadu follows the Greek muse Clio (Jessica Barraclough) as she travels to Earth disguised as the Australian Kira to help struggling artist Sonny (Pat Mahoney) overcome his creative block and achieve his dreams. Hijinks, both mortal and divine, ensue as the pair grow closer, ultimately learning the value of chasing one’s dreams despite potential obstacles.

The cast delivered magnetic performances. Each of the nine muses was bursting with personality. While Barraclough definitely embraced her role as head-muse–turned–girl–from–“down-under,” moving with grace and charming with her sweet and melodic voice, her sisters were equally up to the task of portraying their divine characters, filling the stage with near godly charisma every time they entered a scene.

Melpomene (Jolene Vettese) and Calliope (Audrey Baker), Kira’s scheming muse sisters, stood out throughout. Calling back to the Greek myths their characters are drawn from, Vettese and Baker portrayed the wicked muses with an air of villainous grandiosity. As they pranced and sashayed across the stage, cackling and delivering every line with charisma and malice, the two worked together to sell the entertaining over-the-top villainy of their characters, enhancing the overall humor of the show.

Every minute of Xanadu was a pleasure to watch, delivering the show’s heartwarming story and inspirational themes with welcome humor and cheer. From visual gags and clever puns to eccentric mannerisms and fourth-wall breaks, almost every scene leaves the audience nearly doubled over in laughter.

Through its hilarity, Xanadu maintained a surprisingly heartwarming tone, a welcome element attributable to its wonderful cast and the sheer chemistry they had with one another. From Melpomene and Calliope’s delightfully villainous antics to the budding relationship between Kira and Sonny, the cast painted each scene with believable charm and cheer.

The songs of Xanadu also worked perfectly as the cast delivered vocally captivating performances. The musical elements of the show, directed by Merissa Martignoni Driscoll, were thematic, enhancing each scene with lively riffs and melodic chords while supplementing the characterization of the show’s star players.

“Evil Woman,” Melpomene and Calliope’s primary villain song, showed off the cast’s vocal prowess as Vettese hit impressive notes amidst Baker’s hilarious (yet just as impressive) adlibs and riffs. “Suddenly” was equally captivating as Barraclough and Mahoney wowed the audience with their sweet harmonies and conveyed their characters’ growing connection to one another.

The choreography in Xanadu was energetic and thrilling, pairing perfectly with the music. Sittig’s choreography was especially mesmerizing when the muses danced in unison, all while managing to maintain their individual quirks in every movement. The cast gracefully glided across the stage, often literally as Barraclough and Mahoney spent much of the show in rollerskates.

Tying the choreography, vocals, and portrayals together were the show’s wonderful costumes. Almost the entire cast acted as background dancers and scene fillers whenever their primary character was not needed, each time sporting sparkly and timely costumes. The dresses the muses wore were especially captivating as each muse wore a Grecian gown in a different color and cut to match her personality.

Overall, Xanadu was incredibly entertaining and a worthwhile watch. Filled to the brim with charisma and humor, the show boasts a well of creativity and charm that is sure to impress its audience, leaving them nostalgic for the ’80s and hoping for their own divine strange magic.

Running Time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

Xanadu runs through June 11, 2022, at Workhouse Arts Center—W-3 Theater 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA, 22079. Tickets ($20–$30) can be purchased online.

The Xanadu program is online here.

GenOUT ‘Youth Invasion’ concert raised up LGBTQI+ teens

By Michael Sainte-Andress

This article was first published in DC Theater Arts here.

When I reviewed the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s concert Brand New Day in mid-March at the Lincoln Theatre, I extolled its virtue of showcasing inclusivity and equality with its wonderful renditions of songs on the subject. In that concert, each of GMCW’s five components performed, and I was introduced to GenOUT Youth Chorus, its outreach ensemble of LGBTQI+ and allied 13- to 18-year-olds.

Well, this time around the spotlight was squarely on GenOUT’s concert Youth Invasion, which I attended at THEARC. The program also featured the Mosaic Harmony community choir, a seniors group committed to “empower choirs to fully entertain, inspire and engage audiences by both moving music and uplifting messages.”

The concept of supporting youth — who are coping with not just being young but also the pressure of understanding their sexual orientation and coming to grips with self-acceptance — is a powerful mission of the GMCW. Achieving that goal through music is liberating and inspirational and lends itself to providing these young people with a means to gird themselves with pride, self-understanding, and a profound sense of worth..

C. Paul Heins, GenOUT’s director, provides the training and artistic inspiration for these young people to flourish and, through artistic expression, develop confidence and self-affirmation that will enable them to better face the challenges that will come before them.

With this in mind, I imagined a repertoire that would be evocative, celebratory, and, yes, rousing. The program selections were certainly appropriate and hit the mark in terms of intent and appropriateness but tended to be more somber and reflective. All of the songs — “Build Me a World,” “Reflection” (from the animated film Mulan), “Imagine” (based on the poem by long-time LGBTQI+ activist Donna Red Wing), “Write My Own ‘Story,” “The Human Heart” (from the musical Once on This Island), “How Could Anyone?,” “I Was Here (Beyonce), and “You Are the New “Day” — beautifully conveyed the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and reflections of these young people. The one song that could have surely been a showstopper, “Corner of the Sky” (from the musical Pippin), was only quietly delivered. Near the end, GenOUT performed with Mosaic Harmony in a straightforward rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (the Negro national anthem).

Ironically, it was the guest group, Mosaic Harmony, that got things shaking. Under the foot-stomping, hand-clapping, roof-raising direction of Rev. David North, Mosaic Harmony’s performance became a glorious celebration with spirited versions of the gospel songs “Love in Any Language,” Hezekiah Walker’s “Better,” and “One World.” Rev. North said that he wanted to bring a “new flavor” to the gospel staple “Soon I Will Be Done,” made popular in the 1959 movie Imitation of Life sung by the great Mahalia Jackson. Man, did he deliver! He infused this deeply spiritual anthem with jazzy inflections and uptempo flourishes that had the audience clapping and rejoicing with abandon. (Mahalia wouldn’t want to hear it anymore!) This closing number was just the right touch that the whole affair should have reflected.

That it was shared with this wonderful, young, and talented group I am sure will make it an experience and lesson learned that they will never forget. This was a great example of how reaching across needless barriers and constrictions can bring about tremendous connection and mutual appreciation. It was an afternoon I would gladly spend over again.Youth Invasion was performed by the GenOUT Youth Chorus with special guest Mosaic Harmony on April 23, 2022, at THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, DC, and on April 24, 2022, in the Auditorium at MLK Library, 901 G Street NW, Washington, DC.

GMCW’s inspirational ‘Brand New Day’ sings of equality and inclusivity

By Michael Sainte-Andress

This article was first published in DC Theater Arts here.

What to do on a cold, overcast, snowy Saturday afternoon? Well, I had the good fortune of having a ticket to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington Brand New Day concert at the Lincoln Theatre.

GMCW has been a cultural fixture in Washington, DC, for over 40 years and is one of the oldest and largest LGBT choral organizations in the United States, with over 300 members. It has a history of entertaining performances and has a large multidimensional following. I have enjoyed many of those past shows.

Brand New Day has moved the group a step up the ladder of socially conscious, inspirational, and diversity-focused quality entertainment. The GMCW ensembles (Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers, Seasons of Love, 17th Street Dance, and the GenOUT Youth Chorus) delivered a program that from beginning to end was razor-focused on the issue of inclusivity, equality, and the basic idea of recognizing the worth of all human beings in their infinite variety.

The songs and musical numbers were a delightful potpourri from different genres: Paul Negron singing “Human Heart,” the theme song from the Caribbean musical Once on This Island, about enduring and persevering life’s hardships; “We Are,” lushly underscoring the text of Maya Angelou’s poem “Human Family” (“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike”); soloists Matt Holland and Cooper Westbrook’ rendition of, “Perfect/Just the Way You Are”; Native American Linthicum Blackhorse’s arrangement of a traditional Lakota Sioux American Indian spiritual; the rendering of a Korean folk song, “Arirang,” about finding one’s way; and the Spanish folk song “Luz y Sombra,” about appreciating the simple things in life. Arresting arrangements of classics like “Through the Fire,” ” Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Purple Rain” were newly imagined and invigorating.

The finale was a rip-roaring, Las Vegas–style choreographic sequence from the movie The Wiz, after which the concert was named: “A Brand New Day (Everybody Rejoice).” Magical and thoroughly entertaining, it was a great way to convey the idea of living in a world free of bigotry, hatred, and lack of understanding.

This was an afternoon well spent, and the joy of it swept the dreary day away.

Running Time: Approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.

Brand New Day was presented by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at the Lincoln Theatre – 1215 U Street, in Washington, DC. For future GMCW concerts and events go to their website.

The program for Brand New Day is available online here.

ArtsCentric’s ‘The Last Five Years’ is a hypnotizing thrill to watch

By Gabriella Soto

This article was first published in DC Theater Arts here.

ArtsCentric has streamed their first feature-length film production, Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years, starring Ryan Burke and Awa Sal Secka in transformative performances that subvert and surpass expectations. Director Kevin S. McAllister takes an unconventional cinematic look at the story with the help of Musical Director Cedric D. Lyles and dynamic choreography from Shalyce Hemby. The plot follows a young couple through their five-year relationship in specific moments that jump through time and eventually come full circle in a heartbreaking conclusion. To anyone who has ever fallen in love, stayed in love, and learned the sacrifices it takes to make love last, this one’s for you. 

The show opens on a distraught Cathy played by Secka, in her gut-wrenching rendition of “Still Hurting.” The song follows her, alone in her darkened apartment, as she mourns the loss of her relationship with her husband, Jamie. Throughout the scene are swift cutaways to clips of the couple from memories past, then the film jumps into the next big number, “Shiksa Goddess.” Here audiences are introduced to the other main character, Jamie, through the animated vocal stylings of Ryan Burke. This quick shift in tone is a thrilling wake-up call to a happier time, sweeping audiences into different scenes as a true live musical would. Through masterful casting and direction, ArtsCentric has achieved a compelling theater experience with all the depth, diversity, and raw talent that could be expected of a Hollywood production.

The story is shot in a way that gives audiences multiple insights into the characters’ love story every step of the way as we view both sides through the perspectives sung by Jamie and Cathy in each of their respective songs. Cathy’s perspective is reflective, traveling backward in time, while Jamie’s moves forward, to a future Cathy already knows. Their monologues are delivered through lively musical numbers that carry the plot along at a steady pace with stellar performances from both actors, showcasing Secka’s wide range and belting abilities along with Burke’s impressive vocals, which bear an uncanny resemblance to Jeremy Jordan’s in the original cast recording. The talent and magnetic chemistry these two actors bring to their characters on screen is a hypnotizing thrill to watch. 

Expressed in their story is the age-old battle between romance and career: How long can a partnership that’s supposed to be equal thrive when one person is flying high and the other is down on their luck? And what sacrifices are necessary to create our own version of happiness? Cathy is a struggling actress and Jamie is a successful author. As enticing as it is to watch these characters fall in love, we witness the harsh realities of the balancing act between managing a career, whether successful or failing, over your relationship. Feeling as though you should shrink yourself down, or that you will never reach up to the level your partner is at, remains the overarching conflict between them.   

Both Cathy and Jamie are unfulfilled in some aspect of their lives. Their story of trying to make their marriage work, while in the midst of a major power imbalance, is a valid portrayal of why some things just aren’t meant to be. They both require the other to be something they are not. Jamie expects Cathy to play the “supporting wife” to his overwhelming success as a published young author while her own career hangs by a thread. Jamie has more expectations, obligations, and people relying on him than ever before, and yet he feels he is never able to truly enjoy his speedy rise to the top due to his wife’s struggle to flourish and overcome the constant setbacks in her own career. 

Meanwhile, we witness Cathy feel constantly overlooked, brushed aside, and forgotten. She brings Jamie down by her own self-doubt, insecurities, and jealousy sprung from living in his shadow. Jamie brings her down by becoming so engrossed in his newfound fame and fortune that he is no longer able to be the attentive, faithful man she married. Both characters are similarly pursuing their artistic dreams, but at varying stages, showing a clear picture of what it means to be in different places at different times, and how this can affect those who come into our lives..

Director Kevin McAllister makes conscious efforts throughout to put his own spin on the piece with diverse casting and cinematography that pulls viewers in and keeps its audience thoroughly invested. An example is the creative visuals added to “The Schmuel Song.” Sung by Ryan Burke, it shows Jamie’s attempt to cheer up Cathy with a lighthearted holiday story. Here McAllister adds his own unique interpretation of the number by including in the scene cartoon footage of the characters Jamie is singing about. McAllister’s bold choice to have audiences not only hear the story but see it unfold on screen adds an entirely new element to the number and allows audiences to experience the story of Schmuel along with the characters telling it.

McAllister skillfully utilizes meticulous camera work as a lens to show the inner thoughts of the main characters in their quiet moments, revealing a level of depth in their psyche beyond what they tell us in song. A key moment of this is when Cathy comes home from her audition, having just performed “Climbing Uphill.” In one of the few moments of spoken dialogue in the show, Jamie recites to Cathy some of the story he is currently writing, and although she remains silent, we are able to get into the pain and hurt in her mind. We are jolted back and forth through quick flashbacks of her previous performance, where she sings about trying to make it as an actress and the grueling process of constant rejection, struggling to support herself while living in Jamie’s shadow. In between these flashbacks are frequent cuts to closeups of her face in the present scene, showing only the expression in her eyes. It is telling in this moment that there is no closeup on her mouth, because she feels voiceless, only sharing her deepest thoughts with us through a look in her eyes, and the imagery running circles in her mind.

ArtsCentric’s adaptation of The Last Five Years meets the challenge of converting a musical into film, beautifully transforming the story using the fundamentals of cinema, and proves that with a clear vision and team of dedicated talent, true art can be made.

ArtsCentric’s filmed production of The Last Five Years streamed on-demand from February 18 to March 3, 2022.

Lisa Friday Gets Personal in Trans Am

by Gabriella Soto

This article was first published in Tagg Magazine here.

Lisa Friday takes the stage in Trans Am with nothing more than her acoustic guitar and her story. Told through songs fresh from the vault of original music she’s written over the last 20 years, Friday invites viewers to join her on a rock and roll trip down memory lane. The live, one-woman musical depicts her own transgender experience, raw and real.

Friday’s decision to create and star in her own life story arose as a product of her own self-reflection in the wake of COVID-19. After the cancellation of Keegan Theatre’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in which she was asked to play Hedwig, Friday took time to reflect on current events and injustices taking place. She believed that what was important to show at this time wasn’t flashy outward spectacles, but honest depictions of the realities people face in life. Thus, Trans Am was born.

Originally performed for a virtual audience, widespread success of her remote production prompted her to bring the show to life on stage. “The Keegan asked me to be part of their 25th anniversary season and we all decided we weren’t going to change a thing. We were just going to go with it exactly how it is,” Friday explains.

She describes her story as a means of understanding our common human desire for self-actualization. When discussing where this self-actualization comes from, Friday explains that “to go through a gender transition can be a very isolating experience. It takes so much self-examination and so much clarity about who you are to get through that.” Through this process, she realized that “everything in our world is informing us that there are binary laws to gender norms, that we have to fit in to certain categories and certain places. And as you transition, you’re going to have to walk through every single one of those places. To get through that and survive, that takes a level of self-actualization that a lot of people are never forced to go through.”

Friday shares that despite her happy childhood, there was no room for her to truly find this in the conservative environment she was raised in. She admits, “we may not realize our authentic selves are probably not welcome in.” Throughout her show, Friday details how her connection to music allowed her to find new places to express herself.

Through Trans Am, Friday hopes that audiences resonate with the realities of this human experience. “Being trans doesn’t make me something other, it actually makes me very human.” Her goal is that people get to see transitioning as a real-world human experience and adds for anyone struggling with their own personal journey, “We need love and support in our lives, we need to receive and give that in order to fully realize who we are.