Fun Home opened on Broadway last night and the musical based on Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic novel won rave reviews. The show stars Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs and Sydney Lucas (above) as Bechdel at various ages, and Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn and Oscar Williams as the rest of the Bechdel family.
Ben Brantley in the NY Times:
“Fun Home” knows where you live. Granted, it’s unlikely that many details of your childhood exactly resemble those of the narrator of this extraordinary musical, which pumps oxygenating fresh air into the cultural recycling center that is Broadway. Yet this impeccably shaded portrait of a girl and her father, which opened on Sunday night at the Circle in the Square Theater, occupies the place where we all grew up, and will never be able to leave. That’s the shifting landscape where our parents, whether living or dead, will always reign as the most familiar and elusive people we will ever encounter.
New! Fresh! Original! We toss those kudos around a lot in this business. (It’s like calling everyone “darling.”) But “Fun Home” really earns the praise. Lisa Kron, who wrote both book and lyrics, assembles words and images in unexpected ways to dramatize the bittersweet memoir (based on the 2006 graphic novel by Alison Bechdel) of a grown woman remembering the troubled father she loved in spite of himself. Sam Gold’s direction brings lucidity to the complex mechanics of staging a story that takes place in three time frames. And Jeanine Tesori’s haunting music doesn’t sound a bit like anyone else’s music.
….and so on and so forth. These kind of reviews should give the musical a kickstart, and it should be interesting to see if it runs longer than Spider-Man. I’m seeing it later this week myself and hope to have a few words.
If you want more reviews here’s Elizabeth Vincentelli in the NY Post.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.