Fun Home, the award winning musical that has the distinction of being the first to feature a lesbian lead, is at TPAC's Jackson Hall this week. A one hundred minute masterpiece, it tells the story of self described Lesbian Cartoonist Alison Bechdel.
The show begins with her as a child growing up in a funeral home. Her father is a funeral director, English teacher, home restorer, and homosexual in a heterosexual marriage. Then, we see her in college as she comes to grips with her own sexuality. All the while, we watch the fully grown Alison in the background as she has become a graphic novelist watching her life unfold before the audience.
The show focuses a lot on her relationship with her father, who we learn early on in the show kills himself by way of stepping in front of a bus. He's collects antiques, restores their home as well as others, and runs their small town funeral home. Their relationship is very strained at times, at one point, her words were "Caption: My dad and I were exactly alike," and two beats later "Caption: My dad and I were nothing alike."
The show is heartbreaking and moving. The story of the Alison's and the relationship each had with her father is quite heavy. The song "Say Something" near the end will leave you in tears ready to call your father and tell him you love him.
The cast is positively phenomenal. Each Alison warms your heart and is relatable at some point in the show for everyone. Leaving the theater, the audience was contemplative and visibly moved. Of all the emotions you'll experience throughout the show, nostalgia and the bittersweet memories it carries will be the strongest.
We're officially back to the Broadway series with this show, and the staging and professionalism that the big shows bring with them are back in action. The set nearer the end when you get to see the whole house was immensely impressive.
If you go, take tissue. I was boo-hooing about five minutes in. It runs through October 15. Tickets are available here or for students, they are doing a $25 rush if you arrive at the theater 90 minutes before show time with cash in hand and a valid student ID.
P.S. Favorite moment was the Sex With Joan scene. Super precious. Middle Alison's haircut will make you cringe because all of us have had that terrible haircut.