Usually I am someone who waits until the audience in front of me has gotten up to stand, laziness taking over my politeness. At the end of Fun Home I burst out of my seat for a standing ovation. My friend sitting next to me murmured “that was so good” and as I was stooping to grab my jacket to enter the slow traffic of leaving the theater I heard excited conversation all around me reiterating my friends statement. I would fully recommend to see this show, but let me convince you further. Fox theatricals present The Public theater's production of Fun Home, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel will at the Orpheum theater through December 18th. This story weaves together the life of Alison Bechdel and her rocky relationship with her father. This story centers around Alison's struggle with coming out and how she navigates her relationship with her father.
For the first five minutes, I wasn’t sold on Fun Home. It opened in an reserved manner; no shock value, no crazy lights or intense set. I didn’t feel hooked in. Ten minutes in, the stage had been set, and I had been sucked in. The subtle way that this story drew me in continually surprised me when tension that had been slowly boiling would reach a peak. Alison, the star of this production, was broken into child, young adult, and adult. Abby Corrigan played Alison as a young adult, as she struggles to come out of the closet in college. Her singing in “Changing my Major” was beautifully comical and moving.
In this show, there is little dancing. The one song that is most notable was “Come to the Fun Home” This song was one of the first to appear, and the dancing was performed by the Bechdel children, Lennon Hammond (John) Pierson Salvador (Christian) and Alessanda Baldacchino (small Alison). The dancing in this song was one of the moments that drew me into the performance. It had splashing of color from the light and made me flash to my childhood and they danced a ‘commercial’. The singing in the song however was the only moment I felt was off for the show. The voices of the kinds were drowned out and even with the dancing and theatrics of the lights still was slightly disconnected.
The set didn’t blow me away, but it did the job. Ben Stanton played to the shows strengths with his lighting design. Stanton tapped into the feeling of the show, and kept the lighting subtle and real, with a few moments of exception when peak moments breaking from reality flare bright lights. The acting is what blew me away in this show, with the set and lights supporting the actors in this performance.
This show was one of the best performances I have seen of the season, and the acting and story will surprise you with over and over as it subtly builds and explodes. With This show has many notable actors, but most notable was Robert Petcoff as Bruce. Petcoff stole the show with his presence in acting. His character could easily be misread with many complicated and internal strained moments. Petcoff brings the tension of an internal battle onto the stage perfectly and makes it look easy to make such a complicated character come to life. What makes this show so great, and this story so great, is the feeling of it coming from reality, that you are seeing real people in their daily lives, but with Broadway singing talent.
The set may not speak for itself, but the actors killed it. This performance is one to see, and had me in laughing and crying all in one hour and forty minutes.