Fun Home: A Musical is based on Alison Beckdel’s graphic novel. Beckdel’s autobiographical story of her complicated relationship between her and her father explores sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide, emotional abuse, dysfunctional family life, and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one’s family. Like The Cher Show, it takes three actresses to play Alison Beckdel: a “small” Alison, a College student Alison, and a 40-year-old Alison who narrates the play.

While there’s humor in Fun Home, the specter of darkness and death hover over the characters. In the performance we saw, young Jane Hereth (Small Allison) stole every scene she was in. What a talented little girl! If Fun Home: A Musical shows up in your neighborhood, I recommend you go see it. GRADE: B+
1. “It All Comes Back (Opening)” – Small Alison, Bruce, Alison & Company
2. “Sometimes my father appeared to enjoy having children…” – Alison, Bruce & Helen
3. “Welcome to Our House on Maple Avenue” – Helen, Alison, Small Alison, Christian, John, Bruce & Roy
4. “Not Too Bad” – Medium Alison
5. “Just had a good talk with Dad…” – Alison, Medium Alison, Bruce, Pete, Small Alison, John & Christian
6. “Come to the Fun Home” – John, Christian & Small Alison
7. “Helen’s Etude” – Alison, Roy, Bruce, Small Alison, Helen, John, Christian & Medium Alison
8. “Thanks for the care package…” – Medium Alison, Joan, Small Alison & Bruce
9. “Party Dress” – Small Alison, Bruce, Medium Alison, Alison
10. “Changing My Major” – Medium Alison
11. “I leapt out of the closet…” – Alison, Small Alison, Bruce & Helen
12. “Maps” – Alison
13. “Read a book…” – Bruce, Small Alison, Alison & Helen
14. “Raincoat of Love” – Bobby Jeremy & Company
15. “Clueless in New York…” – Alison, Small Alison & Bruce
16. “Pony Girl” – Bruce
17. “A flair for the dramatic…” – Alison, Joan, Medium Alison & Bruce
18. “Ring of Keys” – Small Alison & Alison
19. “Let me introduce you to my gay dad…” – Joan, Medium Alison, Alison, Bruce & Small Alison
20. “Shortly after we were married…” – Helen & Medium Alison
21. “Days and Days” – Helen
22. “You ready to go for that drive?…” – Bruce & Alison
23. “Telephone Wire” – Alison & Bruce
24. “It was great to have you home…” – Bruce & Alison
25. “Edges of the World” – Bruce
26. “This is what I have of you…” – Alison
27. “Flying Away (Finale)” – Alison, Medium Alison & Small Alison

10 thoughts on “FUN HOME: A MUSICAL

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Not a fan of musicals and especially ones with singing children Singing children I find very annoying. Glad you liked it though.

  2. Deb

    I’d recommend the book it was based on. I’m not a big fan of graphic novels, but Beckdel’s FUN HOME is the exception. People may also be aware of her because of the “Beckdel test” in movies: is there at least one scene in any movie where two women talk about something other than a man (or men)? If not, it’s failed the test.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, yes, there are scenes in FUN HOME that actually pass the BECKDEL TEST. The audience we saw FUN HOME with consisted of mostly young people.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    I am a big fan of Alison Bechdel’s book and thought they did a terrific job adapting it. We saw the original Broadway production at Circle in the Square, which puts you right in the middle of the action as the small audience surrounds the stage. I agree about Small Alison, as Sydney Lucas did a wonderful job and got a deserved Tony Award nomination. Her song “Ring of Keys” was probably the most memorable in the show. It won 5 Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Score, and Michael Cerveris won Best Actor for his portrayal of her gay father.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, the gay father had more mental health issues…and so did Alison’s mother. The family’s dysfunction radiated all over the stage.

  4. Todd Mason

    I’ve been a big fan of Bechdel since coming across her DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR comic strip in the DC-area free LGBTQ paper, the BLADE (Jeff was gracious enough to not draw attention to your and Deb’s misspelling of her name, but I think it’s a typo you should correct–and watch out for!)…the only thing I was definitely going to read in a new issue. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Japanese cast of the play, but only if they did it in English, as my Japanese remains at the few phrases stage.

    Cynthia Connolly (another mildly worldwidely famous person, whom I met through the DC punk scene) and I would practice our broken Japanese in email briefly when conducting business in regards Dischord Records and my radio show, back in the early-mid ’90s. Hey, she has a WIKI page.


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