Alison is 9, begging her father to play with her. She is 19, overcome by the aching and joyous pain of first love. She is 43, an out lesbian hunting for the truth of her brilliant, volatile, and closeted father’s life and death. She is all three at once, trying to untangle the central mystery of her childhood: How did she survive their shared hometown, when her father could not? With a score that ranges from exuberant 70s pop to aching melodies and dissonant harmonies of characters longing to be known, Fun Home is the Tony Award-winning story of a daughter and father, of coming out and coming to terms with a life shaped by a family’s secrets.
A rare beauty, extraordinary and heart-gripping.
Forty-three-year-old cartoonist Alison Bechdel is trying to piece together her childhood, one caption at a time. In painstaking detail, she tries to remember what it was like to grow up in the Fun Home, her family's funeral home slash neurotically preserved 18th century Victorian house. Or what it was like to feel the joy of coming out collide with her family’s turmoil and tragedy. Some captions are pretty straightforward: “Caption: Sometimes my father appeared to enjoy having children, but the real object of his affection was his house.” Other captions, like “I leapt out of the closet. And four months later, my father killed himself by stepping in front of a truck” are a bit harder for Alison to unpack.Read More
Lisa Kron had decades of theatre-making experience under her belt when she took on the challenge of adapting Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home. In 1989, she co-founded the groundbreaking theatre troupe The Five Lesbian Brothers, which performed at WOW Café Theatre in Manhattan’s East Village before finding success on the larger stages of The Public Theater and New York Theatre Workshop. The plays Kron and her four collaborators created were often off-the-wall, centering lesbian stories with tongue firmly in cheek. One such play was Brides of the Moon, a sci-fi spoof that saw four “foxy” female astronauts stranded on the dark side of Uranus only to be rescued by a housewife and her microwave oven. Its world premiere production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1997 was directed by none other than current Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. (It was also reviewed, not particularly kindly, in the New York Times by Peter Marks.)Read More