Every die hard musical theatre fan has imagined their life as a musical at some point. But most never actually make the dream become reality. This is where Sheena Janson and Max Wojtanowicz differ from the rest. The talented best friend duo has turned their real life 20 year friendship into the hilarious, heartfelt and engaging Fruit Fly: The Musical.
The autobiographical musical is about the evolution of the relationship between a straight woman and a gay man. Sheena and Max first met in fifth grade in the St. Cloud area. After an initial meeting where Max actually despised Sheena, the two have been inseparable for the most part ever since. Together they have weathered growing up, relationships and conquering the Twin Cities theatre scene. Over the course of the show we learn Max told Sheena he was gay before he told his family. When Sheena started spending too much time with her new boyfriend, Max’s jealousy nearly tore the best friends apart for good. But when your life is so intertwined with your best friend, you learn that even a guy ultimately can’t come between the two of you.
As noted in the program, Fruit Fly: the Musical was born in 2010 when Nikki Swoboda (who directs this production) suggested to Sheena and Max that they should write a show about their relationship. After joining forces with Michael Gruber to write the music, Fruit Fly: The Musical made its world premiere at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival and not only played to sold-out houses during the run, but was named Best Musical of the festival too. The show has seen some tweaks and fine tuning over the years through workshops and readings and is now a fully staged show playing at Illusion Theatre.
Max and Sheena are a real life version of “Will and Grace”. Just like their TV counterparts they are wacky, hilarious and endearing. This show is for anyone who wants to see a beautiful, original and heartwarming production.
Fruit Fly: The Musical runs through April 11 at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis. For more information on the show, visit the Illusion Theater’s website.