Such a lovely wonderful home to be welcomed into on Maple Avenue as this incredibly talented cast sing to us in the opening moments of Fun Home. So perfectly restaged by director, Sam Gold in this transfer from The Public Theater to the Circle in the Square, Broadway. And the amazing design team of David Zinn (Scenic & Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design), and not to leave out the indispensable Faye Armon-Troncoso (Props & Set Dressing) who altered the piece from proscenium to theater in the round. We are ushered into the family and to the upbringing of a lesbian comic artist, played so beautifully by the three actors, Beth Malone (Alice), an incredible Emily Skeggs (Middle Alice), and an endearing Sydney Lucas (Small Alice). We bear witness to the blossoming of one character, and the unraveling of another. And a painful exploration of the why and the what. Did her coming out send her father down in? Or was it just a matter of timing and coincidence as he once again tried to save, rebuild,and eventually overwhelmed by another broken down house sadly in need of repair.
Michael Cerveris gives us a (hopefully Tony nominated) portrayal of the complex and closeted father that reaches deep down into our hearts and tears us apart. It is as real as it is tortured. We want this daughter and father to connect but we know in advance we, and Alice, will be disappointed. We feel for the mother’s quiet struggle to comprehend her own life and the decisions she made, achingly portrayed by Judy Kuhn. We want Alice to find joy and fulfillment, but most of all to find peace and understanding. This Fun Home is far from as orderly and perfect as it first appears, but it’s emotional core is deep and honest, and achingly sad. And I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit.