"I am the only one here."
What's it about ... on a journey to reconcile her family history and gay father's sordid past, graphic artist Alison Bechdel recounts events from three specific periods of her life -- as a young girl struggling to understand why she cannot emotionally connect to her father, as a questioning and coming-of-age lesbian in college, and as the inquisitive emerging artist unravelling his apparent suicide.
How does it fit together ... with book by Lisa Korn, music by Jeanine Tesori, all in the expert hands of director Gary Griffin, this superbly staged groundbreaking musical is an emotional roller coaster. Music Director Doug Peck elevates the intricate score. Even though we know it's coming, Fun Home hits home with destructive force.
Why you should go ... compelling and moving performances by Danni Smith and Stella Rose Hoyt as Alison and Small Alison (also played by Sage Elliot Harper). Smith does not leave the stage, moving in, out and through scenes while interweaving the story from the many different directions of her other selves. Hannah Starr explodes with exuberant charm as Medium Alison discovering who she really is and struggling to gain acceptance from her mother, a powerfully resonant Helen Bechdel played by McKinley Carter. The commanding, tour de force performance of the night is rendered by Rob Lindley as the emotionally charged and hypersensitive Bruce Bechdel.
And the music ... Starr's 'Changing My Major', Carter's ' Day's to Days', 'Come to the Fun Home' are all highlights, as are 'Maps' and 'Flying Away.' Lindley delivers on 'Edges of the World.'
What's the takeaway ... It is harder to change as we age and our past is not easily understood or explained, but in the end, our love for each other can and will endure.
Where to go before and after ... check the Victory Gardens calendar and plan to come early for one of the pre-show events or stay after for a post-performance conversation. Millie’s Supper Club has a wide variety of home-style fare and nightly specials for pre-show or late night dining. Wherever you go, you'll want to make an advance reservation now. When the word is out on Fun Home, the 2400 block of North Lincoln will be very, very busy.
Photo Credit: Liz Lauren