What more need be said? It is, yes, as good as you've heard. What a shame that the ticket situation will keep it out of the reach of the general theatergoing public for another year or three.
In the late 1960s a new brand of cigarettes was introduced by Philip Morris International. A spinoff of the popular Benson & Hedges brand, its marketing was aimed at female smokers enjoying a new sense of liberation. For better or worse, the advertising slogan for Virginia Slims insisted that "You've Come A Long Way, Baby."
I notice this is a surprisingly short account of the year's Tony Awards as scoped from the press room. I can only suggest it's an indication of the excitement the event didn't create from start to finish.
This year, however, two things intrigue me: My kids' first-time stake in the proceedings, and Fun Home. Lea and Sara have seen a lot of Broadway theater this season. As a result, they feel personally invested in their Tony connection to You Can't Take It With You, On the Town, An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, The King and I. Each show is real to them.
Fun Home tells the story of Alison, a young girl growing up in a funeral home with a closeted father. The musical is based on Alison Bechdel's graphic novel and it weaves her coming out and coming of age story with her father's own tragic struggle towards self-realization.
If you ask me, On The Town, which is currently slightly trailing both other contenders in my Tony polling, deserves the win. I, like most, was worried when the show was announced for that barn of a theater, but director John Rando proved the doubters wrong.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Fun Home in its new home on Broadway. As I left the theatre, I was struck by how the layering of different perspectives on top of one another make for a more complex, more satisfying final product.
In Fun Home, what opened so perilously between my grandparents and me opens again between those standing across the same mortuary table or pressing their bodies against each other in the same narrow dorm bed.
FUN HOME was one of those rare theatrical experiences that resonated with us so deeply that we couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks after leaving the theater. Rather than break our phones group-texting each other, we decided to sit down and talk about the show.