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Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

With all of the critical acclaim at its’ feet,  it is no small wonder that Fun Home has become one of the hottest musical tickets on Broadway. Originally premiering in 2013 at downtown’s Public Theater, it now has taken up residency in midtown. Just last week, it smashed Circle in the Square’s box office record of any musical that has ever played in the space. What is a wonder however, is the show itself.

Fun Home, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alison Bechdel, takes place in Beech Creek, a small town in Pennsylvania. The true story follows Bechdel as she begins to piece together clues to her own homosexuality and  the labyrinthine relationship she has with her father, Bruce (Michael Cerveris) , a closeted English teacher, funeral home director, and avid home restoration enthusiast. In a non-sequential manner, it jumps between time frames in the Bechdel house, incorporating three actors to portray  the main character: Small Alison (Sydney Lucas), Middle Alison (Emily Skeggs) and the adult version, played with incisive depth by Beth Malone. Judy Kuhn stars as the conflicted matriarch who is aware of her husband’s dalliances, but does her best to hold it together until she unloads her troubles in a heart wrenching moment of song called “Days and Days”.

Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus
Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

 

Collectively, this might well be the best cast currently represented on Broadway. Each performer is bringing a  razor-sharp “A-game” to this finely crafted tale of a quietly unraveling family. Many will relate to the parental tendency of displaying a picturesque home and family to the world while it erodes from within. Others will recall the coming of age search for similarity as a young Alison sees her first adult lesbian in “Ring of Keys”.  Lisa Kron’s cerebral book and lyrics (a Pulitzer prize finalist) , paired with Jeanine Tesori’s sophisticated score entreats us to look beyond our familial flaws and embrace our own authenticity. The outcome is a profound and life changing experience.

Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus
Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

Fun Home is now playing on Broadway at Circle in the Square (W.50th between Broadway and 8th Avenue). Tickets and information are available at