On this day in 2013, the musical Fun Home made its Broadway debut.
Adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical
graphic novel, Fun Home became a
nationwide sensation for its bold depiction of a young butch lesbian coming to
terms with her childhood and the fact that her deceased father was a deeply
closeted gay man.
“Fun Home: A True Story Becomes a Tony-Winning Best Musical” (x).
Fun Home first premiered in
September of 2013 at The Public Theater, but it officially made the jump to
Broadway on October 22, 2013. Starring Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs, and Sydney
Lucas all as Alison Bechdel at different ages throughout her life, the musical
follows the same structure as the graphic novel; the story begins with the
adult cartoonist living out and proud in the modern day and follows adult Alison’s narration as she tells the story of her relationship with her father
from the time she was a 10-year-old child, a questioning teenager, and as a college student writing a coming out letter to her parents.
The main cast of Fun Home poses for a publicity shot (x).
Although gay identity is not
foreign territory to the theater world, it could be argued that lesbian identity had never been so
thoroughly studied and cherished before Fun Home broke onto the scene. Invigorating the original work with 22
songs, when the official cast album
was released in 2014, it debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Cast Album Chart.
Fun Home’s phenomenon status was reached when it was nominated for the 2014
Pulitzer Prize for Drama and then nominated for over 12 Tony Awards – winning 5
of them including the culminating honor of Best Musical.