Fun Home isn’t your typical sing and dance musical. Instead, it’s more intimate, emotional, and styled like a Steppenwolf play. Specifically, it shares a lot in common with Mary Page Marlowe. Both shows have multiple actresses playing the same character at different times in her life. Both jump around in time, both forwards and backwards. And finally, both are extremely well written and executed.
In Fun Home, which is short for funeral home, the children perform an imaginary advertisement for the funeral home called Come to the Fun Home. The choreography is so fun and hilarious. It shows off the talents perfectly of the child actors in the show. Everyone had a smile on their face after this funky jam.
Another amazing song is Changing My Major which Allison sings about being excited and joyful after having sex with Joan. It’s such a fun song about teenage love and self-discovery. It showcases the singing and comedic talent of the actress playing college aged Allison.
For the best song of the show, the youngest Alison notices a butch delivery woman and feels an inexplicable kinship with her (Ring of Keys). The song sends shivers through the audience as she begins to discover herself in this woman. Also, the song sounds beautiful too as it just bursts with joy.
There are only two small changes this play could use. Firstly, Joe Lino, who plays many different characters, should have more distinct costumes so the audience isn’t confused about who he is playing. Secondly, the fact that Allison’s dad dies, which is revealed very early in the play, should not be stated. It would make for such a big climax to only discover this at the end. It would also make Rob Lindley’s performance, which is excellently nuanced, even more powerful.
Compared to the Broadway version that toured Chicago last year, this production is far more intimate and funny, which is perfect for this play. Also, the band is visible at the back of the stage, which makes the music more powerful.
Catch Fun Home, the winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, now through November 12th!