I saw Fun Home for the first time in New York City on July 4, 2015. This is what I wrote on Facebook (pre-blog) then:
“In the program notes for Fun Home, book writer and lyricist Lisa Kron speaks of “a deep river of yearning” that she and composer Jeanine Tesori found throughout Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, a yearning that “made it right for translation into the musical form.” This is what all musicals, great and small, are about: A character experiences feelings that are so powerful that words cannot suffice. It may be about the most beautiful girl in the world or a new Argentina. It may be about wanting another bowl of gruel or nothing more than ‘a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air.’ It doesn’t matter what, as long as the need is so great that the character must sing.
“When the feelings conjured in a play are both dramatically unique and emotionally universal, you know you are in for something special. And when the book, lyrics, and music are so brilliantly rendered and the staging is so inimitably perfect and the casting is so sublime, then you just might experience the kind of theatrical magic I found today. It was funny, tragic and altogether human.
“I haven’t seen many shows in the round. Director Sam Gold chose this method to honor the memories that swirl about the stage and to meet “The bravery of what Alison had done.” Frankly, I don’t see how this can tour on proscenium stages without lessening the emotional effect that I experienced, but if it ever shows up at your town, in whatever form, see it!”
I saw Fun Home for the second time in New York City today on July 20. This is what I have to say: