Fringe Review: ‘First Comes Love” Mourns Victims of the Pulse Massacre


Photo courtesy of Ruben Najera Photography.









On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a.k.a. Omar Mir Seddique, murdered 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. 53 more were injured. It was the deadliest mass killing in American GLBT history. Writer-director Stephanie M. Hipple has shaped a theatricalized elegy in remembrance of the tragedy. It works as a stream of consciousness of scenes that resonate of those killed, their spirits, and those left here in life on earth. Candles dot parts of the stage, adding to the production’s sense of ritual. Baseball metaphors, swan imagery, angels and silhouettes of those caught in Mateen’s line of fire add to the anguish portrayed by the actors in this heartfelt production.

The charismatic Jex Arzayas makes a stark existential impression in a type of spirit role that echoes of someone shattered by the shootings. The rest of First Comes Love’s strong ensemble cast also gives their all: Nayely Becerra, Samuel Joseph, Ruben Najera, Ash Martini, Tom S Tea, Ryan D Maddux, Aiden Campbell, Edduar Peralta, and Gabi Del Moral.

First Comes Love 
Through Aug 11
Theatre in the Round, Minneapolis

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