Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be brought into the Curran Theatre for the matinee show of FUN HOME and a meeting with Jaron Caldwell, the Theatre’s PR Director. I have to admit that going in I had zero expectations. I was excited to see the renovated theatre, but from what I had seen of FUN HOME commercials and posters around town (depicting a smiling father and his young daughter playing ‘airplane’), I really didn’t know what to anticipate.
Within the first minutes of the show, it became much clearer. FUN HOME is short for ‘funeral home,’ a far stretch from the circus-like funhouse I had imagined. I would not be settling in for a fun family adventure as the Hulu ads had convinced me it would be. The bright primary colors make sense now that I’ve seen the show in its entirety - they make sense for the time period which took us from the 80’s to the present, and for the whimsy of comic novels (which the lead grows up to write and illustrate). Never would I have guessed that the show was actually a brilliant socially political statement about being queer in America.
Having grown up in Los Angeles in the 80’s and 90’s, my world has always been full of diversity and color and art. I take for granted that my god brother is black and my best friend gay. They were my world, not people I needed to learn to understand and tolerate. And even I worried. I was a late bloomer when it came to romance and I despised pink. At times I wondered if people assumed I was gay, or if maybe they were right and I was. I worried about what my Israeli immigrant of a father would think. All of that pressure, even though in my heart of hearts I knew my true orientation.
FUN HOME took me through an alternate reality - I became Alison. I went through the process of discovering my homosexuality, of falling in love with a woman for the first time, of managing and confronting a double life. I wept silently as my father confused and tortured my mind and mother. Incredibly moving and relevant, FUN HOME is a portal into a human experience that I imagine is not that uncommon. It's heartbreaking and beautiful. Hence it's five Tony awards.
No spoilers here. I'll leave the rest for you to discover yourself. Tickets are still available for this weekend's final performances, get them while you can.