What Is the Story of Fun Home?
Composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist/librettist Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, a musical adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel of the same name, details Alison Bechdel’s experiences with coming out to her family and her investigation into the suicide of her father. The show boldly tackles Bechdel’s childhood in the 1970s, her growing acceptance of her sexuality as a young adult and her father's struggle with his own gayness in a small Pennsylvania town. The backdrop for Fun Home is not just the family home, but also the family business—a funeral parlor. The clan's nickname for this place is what gives the musical its title. Adult Alison remembers and illuminates the past while preparing to write her graphic novel.
What Is Fun Home Like?
Fun Home can be summed up by this show's opening statement: “Dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town. And he was gay, and I was gay, and he killed himself, and I became a lesbian cartoonist.” The musical uses a trio of actresses to portray the leading character at different ages: adult Alison (Beth Malone) narrates scenes from her childhood (played by Sydney Lucas), college-age coming out (played by Alexandra Socha) and, ultimately, her father’s death. Father Bruce (Michael Cerveris) fades in and out and mother Helen (Judy Kuhn) longs for the artistic life she gave up after marriage. Sam Gold’s direction and David Zinn’s turntable set enhance Tesori and Kron's beautiful script and score, which are engaging and moving, despite the unusual nature of the material.
Is Fun Home Good For Kids?
No. The show includes adult language and themes, including sex, alcohol and drug use. Fun Home is recommended for mature teens and adults.