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Fun Home A Show That Says Much

Fun Home A Show That Says Much
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home

Sydney Lucas

The musical, Fun Home is like watching a moment out of my life. I watched, hoping for answers, only to find there are none. I was not the daughter, Alison, played in triplicate, but the wife, who was wooed and then made to feel as if she were nothing. I was constantly told everything was my fault as my closeted gay husband put my life in harms way because he refused to admit his sexual preference. I watched, waiting for there to be an excuse for what destroys more lives than just mine and found there are none.

Playwright Lisa Kron has taken Alison Bechdel’s memoir, added the haunting music of Jeanine Tesori and created a true-to-life slice that is sure to cut, hurt and heal.

Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs

Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs

Young Alison’s (the multi-talented, pint-sized Sydney Lucas) perfectionist father’s (Michael Cerveris) pride and joy is a Victorian house with an attached funeral home that Daddy runs, as he teaches High School English. Adult Alison (Beth Malone) looks on, trying to make sense of the shadows of her past as they linger in every fiber of her being. Alison is trying to figure out who this man was who shaped this nightmare she cannot escape from. As she draws, she captions her drawing ,“ Dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town. And he was gay, and I was gay, and he killed himself, and I became a lesbian cartoonist.” She revisits her childhood journals and years at college to come to a conclusion.
Beth Malone, Michael Cerveris

Beth Malone and Michael Cerveris

With time behind her she realizes her father, Bruce had an assortment of young men (Joel Perez), including the babysitter, for her and her brothers (the adorable Oscar Williams and Zell Steele Marrow). Her mother, Helen (Judy Kuhn) is resentful but despite the tyranny of a man who puts their whole existence in jeopardy, she has always been there. At Oberlin College, student Alison (Emily Skeggs) comes to the realization that she has always been a lesbian and has her first encounter with Joan (the terrific Roberta Colindrez). Despite writing a letter home to her family, it is her mother, not her father who tells her the truth. In truth the lie kills. Secrets are never really reviled, for that would take courage.

Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas

Judy Kuhn and Sydney Lucas

The score is pure emotion and it is Tesori’s best since Violet. The words ring true and the story doesn’t sell out. It is a layered tension where answers evade and closure can never be gathered because the person who can give them is too damaged, too ego entrenched and the only life that matters is their own. When they leave, the shards are still embedded.

Judy Kuhn, Oscar Williams, Zell Morrow, Sydney Lucas , Michael Cerveris

Judy Kuhn, Oscar Williams, Zell Morrow, Sydney Lucas and Michael Cerveris

The underrated Mr. Cerveris is vocally and emotionally perfect; forever an enigma. Ms. Kuhn is the distressed victim keeping her family together and her song “Days” will help you understand how someone gets entrapped. The Alisons are each the perfect casting of their type but Miss Lucas is a star as she belts with perfect tone “The Lesbian in the Making” with swagger, innocence and longing.

Sam Gold has used the audience as the mirror that reflects the unseen. The set by David Zinn is timeless, while his costumes have us stuck in the past. Ben Stanton’s lighting is the illusion that will never be clear.

This show speaks truths that are more widespread than most people know.

Fun Home: .

I originally wrote this review November 14, 2013 and I still feel the same why. This is a thought provoking piece that is sure to be nominated for several Tony’s.

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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