Musical 'Fun Home' gives voice to first lesbian lead character

Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:31pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway is getting its first lesbian lead character next month when "Fun Home," an award-winning musical about family, sexuality and acceptance, opens next month.

Based on the best-selling, graphic memoir, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic," by writer/cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the coming-of-age musical examines her dysfunctional family and relationship with her late father, a closeted gay man who ran a funeral home and taught English in rural Pennsylvania.

The musical, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama, begins previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19 after a sold-out, extended run Off Broadway.

"It is the first lesbian lead character in the history of musical theater and that is a story that needs to be told," director Sam Gold said in an interview. "It feels like a very good time in our culture to give voice to that character."

Gold believes the themes of the musical, Bechdel's coming-out as a lesbian and the father-daughter story, will resonate with audiences.

Multiple Tony nominee Lisa Kron adapted the book and provided the lyrics to music by Jeanine Tesori.

Gold is also staging the show, whose title is the family's shortened name for funeral home, in the Circle's round theater, which is a rarity for a musical and will give the audience a different perspective.

"What it means is you are inside the show, with the characters," he said. "You have the same relationship to the actors as the actors have to each other."   Continued...