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Fun Home tells the story of Alison Bechdel (Kate Shindle, Alessandra Baldacchino, and Abby Corrigan) as she looks back on her childhood and college years. Alison chronicles her sexual orientation, her relationship with her father, her father's struggles with his own sexual orientation, and his eventual suicide all in a masterfully written and scored way. What I liked most about the play was the feeling and emotion portrayed in the music. Whether it was sadness, joy, or a depressing, hilarious, beautiful mix, Fun Home portrayed these emotions in a completely honest way that really made this play stand out to me.
What makes the music in Fun Home truly stand out to me was the fact that every moment of song was filled with honest emotion that you can only find in the best plays.
One of the most powerful moments of this comes in the song "telephone wire." This song comes at a crucial point in the play: Alison's last talk with her father before he kills himself. Adult Alison breaks the constraints of time and joins her father when college age Alison (usually known as medium Alison) doesn't want to go on a drive with him. During the song, Alison tries desperately to say something to her father that could somehow prevent the inevitable, but in the end, everything remains the same. The events play out just as they did on that terrible day in Alison's life. Since adult Alison already knew how everything would play out, the desperation she conveyed was even more saddening and moving.
No matter how emotionally moving Fun Home's joyous moments and sorrowful moments are, my favorite parts of the performance were the parts where feelings of both happiness and sadness were combined. The most memorable moment of this comes at the very end of the play. Young Alison comes on stage and begins to sing the song she sang in the opening moments of the play, a song about wanting to play airplane with her dad. This then inspires adult Alison to draw a picture of the herself playing airplane as a child, but adult Alison thinks of it differently. While young Alison thinks about it simply in the spirit of childhood play, adult Alison puts a sadder spin on it while she sings, seeing it as more than than just playing with her father. She sees it as looking back on a time of perfect balance between her hand her father, a time before all the problems in their lives kept them from being close, a time that she can never have back. These points in the show when the Alisons sing duets (and sometimes even trios) are always emotionally moving. Even though it can be hard to understand all the parts at the same time, it almost doesn't matter because their voices are so rich with emotion.
In all honesty, I must say that I've never come across a play that made me feel so... so... feel so much. The tragic moments made me feel sorrow, the comic moments made me feel happy, and the tragicomic moments made me feel a strange in-between type of feeling I will never forget.

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Comment by Dudley Voigt on December 16, 2016 at 6:20pm

You do a great job of citing many specific moments!  When it's a new show, it's tempting to want to focus on the material, and I think Fun Home warrants a little more context than just a short plot summary.  But, you can't have your entire review focused on the material and not on the production. Be sure to stick with the template and you will be forced to address all the elements of a musical!

Comment by Laura Wyatt on December 17, 2016 at 3:28pm

Most of your review is plot evaluation. While you are great at sharing how the plot made you feel, the purpose of your review is to tell the reader how that specific performance made you feel. How did the actors and technical elements contribute to all of your feelings? The template can really help you to answer these questions. 


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