Fruit Fly, a musical film with spirit, opens with the main character, Bethesda (L.A. Renigen) getting onto a train and singing a song about public transit. Soon enough, the other commuters are bobbing their heads to the lively song that asks if there is any need for cars at all.
Bethesda, known as Beth, was born in the Philippines, but adopted by a family in Maryland. After her adoptive parents died, she decided to go back to Manila to find her biological parents. To her dismay, she is told by her aunt in the Philippines that they are both dead. Making lemons into lemonade, Beth’s hardships are all put into her one-woman show.
Beth moves to San Fransisco and into an art commune, still in the search of her birth mother. Among the misfits inhabiting the commune are; Dirty Judy (Christina Augello), the tenant everybody hates; Karen (E.S. Park) and Sharon (Theresa Navarro), a lesbian couple living together after knowing each other just two months; Windham (Mike Curtis), a set designer who has promised to help Beth with the San Francisco version of her show and Jacob (Aaron Zaragoza), who remains a mystery. Tracy (Don Wood), the landlord, delivers the funniest lines in the movie.
While most of the film is clever and the dialogue is quite sharp, the actors’ delivery hurts the film more often that it should. The film also loses some of its excitement and joy about halfway through, but so does Beth.
What makes this a great film to turn your brain off to for 94 minutes are the musical numbers, Gaz Howard (Christian Cagigal), a cheesy magician competing for a spot on a club’s performance schedule with Beth, and Shelly, Michelle and Mimi, the self-proclaimed “fabulous, fantastic, fierce fag hags.”
The outrageous and over-the-top musical numbers like “Fag Hag,” are good listens and are all available on iTunes.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming the catchy, musical numbers, “My Makeup” and “Workshop,” long after the credits roll.
Fruit fly screens at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Imperial Theatre