Fun Home Arrives In Boston For A Two Week Run

Posted October 12, 2017 by Brian Keaney in Theater & Arts
Fun Home Boston

For an adolescent, discovering who you are is a natural element in the maturation process. It is rarely easy, but can be even more complicated for people that are gay. Throw on top of that the discovery that not only is your father gay, and pile on revelations about his pederasty just before his tragic death, and you have the plot of the latest Broadway in Boston musical, Fun Home. The themes of sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide, emotional abuse, dysfunctional family life, and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one’s family are all explored in the one hour and forty minute production.

Derived from a 2006 graphic memoir of the same name, Fun Home is the first mainstream musical about a lesbian coming of age. Told in a non-linear format, the show opens with 43 year old Allison (played by Kate Shindle) working in the present day on her memoir.  Scenes then bounces between Small Allison at ten years old (Carly Gold) and Medium Allison (Abby Corrigan), the 19 year old college student, with middle aged Allison serving as narrator.

We see Young Allison struggling with both her sexuality and with her relationship with Bruce (Robert Petkoff), her brilliant but volatile father. Bruce imposes a demanding aesthetic standard in his family’s home, the same home into which he invites Roy (Robert Hager), the underage gardener he attempts to seduce. As a college student, Medium Allison comes out of the closet and begins a relationship with Joan (Victoria Janicki), a confident young lesbian and classmate.

As the show progresses, Allison begins to ponder the connections between her coming out of the closet, his arrest for molesting boys, and his possible suicide. As the discoveries unfold, Medium Allison also learns her mother has known all along about her fathers’ sexual encounters with other men and boys, and has endured a devastating and unfulfilling marriage.

Opening off Broadway in 2011, the show has toured the country, beginning with Cleveland in October 2016. The play features a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori, and in the Boston iteration the direction is provided by Sam Gold. The show about seeing your parents, and your childhood, through adult eyes has won awards but, Miriam Krule of Slate has opined, “it’s not clear that a musical is the best second format for the material.”

The show opens at the Boston Opera House on October 17th and runs until October 29th.  There are showings in the evenings on both week days and weekends, as well as several matinees. Given the adult themes of the show, it is recommended that children stay home.

Originally opened in 1928 and extensively renovated and restored to its original glory in the 1990s, the Boston Opera House gained recognition as a landmark in 1999. Featuring sculptural plaster, grand staircases, gold leaf finishes, Carrara marble, paintings and tapestries, chandeliers, and walnut and oak paneling, the primary tenants are Broadway Across America and the Boston Ballet.