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FUN HOME OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: October 22, 2013
Synopsis: When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family's Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father's hidden desires.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"At moments during “Fun Home,” the beautiful heartbreaker of a musical that opened on Tuesday night at the Public Theater, you may feel you’ve developed quadruple vision, and not just because your eyes are misted with tears. It’s also a matter of those three actresses playing the same character at different ages, a device that usually feels strained in theater, but here comes off as naturally as breathing."
"How refreshing — a queer coming-of-age play in which the hero(ine) is not a diva, the parents are not monsters, and people are never mean, even when they’re being cruel. Lisa Kron’s warm, funny, heartbreaking book (from the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel) for “Fun Home” accomplishes all this without being sentimental. That welcome tone of sincerity is replicated in her lyrics to Jeanine Tesori’s introspective songs, which sound like a human voice — the voice of a likable lesbian, played by three actresses at different stages of her life — being painfully honest with itself. "
"As gay men increasingly claim pride of place in musical theater, gay women remain largely invisible there. Among the many meritorious things about the graceful Fun Home, adapted from Alison Bechdel’s illustrated memoir, is the way that Lisa Kron’s direct, poignant libretto and Jeanine Tesori’s expressive, multifarious music make lesbian identity legible onstage. Three actors play Alison at evolutionary stages of dykedom—as a young tomboy (Sydney Lucas), a neurotic college student (Alexandra Socha, in a hilarious hairdo) and a grown-up butch (Beth Malone)—within a fluid memory-play structure in which the adult version, a cartoonist, tries to frame her family history in ways that make sense to her now."
"Fans of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir “Fun Home” know the title is a misnomer. During her fraught Pennsylvania childhood -- Alison's closeted father committed suicide four months after she came out to him as a lesbian -- “Fun Home” was the shorthand Alison and her brothers used for the family business, a funeral home."
"Some say that if you can’t forgive your parents, you’re doomed to become them. But this ambitious musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s terrific graphic memoir Fun Home finds a third option. ''Dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town,'' announces Alison (Beth Malone) in the first scene. ''And he was gay, and I was gay, and he killed himself — and I became a lesbian cartoonist.''"
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