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San Francisco’s Curran Celebrates GLAAD Sprit Day with ‘Ring of Keys’ Video

October 20th, 2016 Comments off
(Photo provided by the Curran via The Broadway Blog.)

(Photo provided by the Curran via The Broadway Blog.)

In celebration and support of GLAAD and ‘Spirit Day’ (October 20), the Curran had released a music video of the song “Ring of Keys,” from the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, which will re-open the Curran this January after an extensive renovation that is currently underway (and pictured in scenes from the video). The song, written by Tony Award-winners Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and performed by students from Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), is in celebration and support of a day that encourages all to take a stand against bullying of LGBTQ youth and wear purple.

The Curran’s leader, Carole Shorenstein Hays said, “As we ready our Curran for the opening of Fun Home this January, every day is celebratory for many reasons.  And so, as ‘Ring of Keys’ beautifully empowers youth with a message of hope, love and perseverance, we wholeheartedly celebrate Spirit Day with GLAAD this month.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO said, “Fun Home‘s powerful story has moved audiences around the world and embodies what Spirit Day is all about – acceptance. With this strong message of support for LGBTQ youth, the Curran and these brilliant young students are helping to create a world where everyone can live the life they love.”

The Curran has a cherished relationship with Oakland School for the Arts that began when Shorenstein Hays helped OSA secure the rights for the first-ever amateur student production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, School of Rock, which was performed on the Curran stage last spring.

Starring 16-year-old OSA student Barbara De Veaux-Griffith and Founder of the website TheBodyisNotAnApology.com Sonya Renee Taylor, the “Ring of Keys” video features lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori, vocal arrangement by Ben Wexler, direction by Ezra Hurwitz, vocal direction by Solas Burke-Lalgee and music production and mixing by Ram Dass Khalsa.

Tickets are now on sale for Fun Home, which will be the first event at the Curran in 2017, a year that will feature a surprisingly eclectic array of programming, including Eclipsed (performances beginning March, 2017), and more to be announced soon.  Tickets for Fun Home can be purchased at SFCURRAN.COM or by calling 415-358-1220.

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home features music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kronand direction by Sam Gold, whose work on this production earned them Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction.

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‘Fun Home’ Concert Raises More than $113K for Equality Florida

July 25th, 2016 Comments off
Fun Home, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, raised $113,000 in ticket sales and additional donations, in support of Equality Florida and the LGBTQ community of Orlando during a one-night-only benefit concert performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (445 S Magnolia Ave) in Orlando last night.  All nine of the show’s onstage company members, including Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris, four-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn, 2015 Tony Award nominees Beth Malone, and Emily Skeggs, Gabriella Pizzolo, Roberta Colindrez, Cole Grey, Zell Steele Morrow, and Joel Perez flew down to Orlando to participate in the special concert version of the musical for the Orlando community. The show’s Tony Award-winning creators Lisa Kron (Book & Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music) and Sam Gold (Direction) were also on hand, and joined the cast on stage afterwards for a discussion with the audience, which included employees from Pulse Nightclub as well as families of the victims.  100% of the net proceeds of this benefit performance will support the future work of Equality Florida, and the victims of the horrific Pulse shooting. Half of the money raised will be distributed directly to victims and their families, and half will support Equality Florida's work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.     Fun Home was able to fly down to Orlando for this benefit performance thanks to the generosity of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the producers and co-producers of Fun Home, and the Wyndham Orlando.

The cast of ‘Fun Home’ raised more than $113K for Equality Florida.

Fun Home, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, raised $113,000 in ticket sales and additional donations, in support of Equality Florida and the LGBTQ community of Orlando during a one-night-only benefit concert performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando last night.

All nine of the show’s onstage company members, including Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris, four-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn, 2015 Tony Award nominees Beth Malone, and Emily Skeggs, Gabriella Pizzolo, Roberta Colindrez,Cole Grey, Zell Steele Morrow, and Joel Perez flew down to Orlando to participate in the special concert version of the musical for the Orlando community. The show’s Tony Award-winning creators Lisa Kron (Book & Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music) and Sam Gold (Direction) were also on hand, and joined the cast on stage afterwards for a discussion with the audience, which included employees from Pulse Nightclub as well as families of the victims.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds of this benefit performance will support the future work of Equality Florida, and the victims of the horrific Pulse shooting. Half of the money raised will be distributed directly to victims and their families, and half will support Equality Florida’s work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Fun Home was able to fly down to Orlando for this benefit performance thanks to the generosity of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the producers and co-producers of Fun Home, and the Wyndham Orlando.

15 Minutes with Judy Kuhn

June 1st, 2016 Comments off

by Jim Gladstone

Judy Kuhn (photo provided by 'Fun Home')

Judy Kuhn (photo provided by ‘Fun Home’)

Kuhn’s work as Helen Bechdel, long-suffering wife of a closeted gay man, in the show adapted from lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s autobiographic novel, is indelible. While Fun Home might easily have played primarily as a father-daughter story, the distillation of intensity, bewilderment and loss Kuhn brings to her show-stopping performance of Helen’s soliloquy song, “Days and Days” adds astonishing dimensions to the show as a whole. It presses audiences to reconsider the entire story from a third perspective.

It is a wrenching portrayal, and one would hardly blame Kuhn for taking a hard-earned hiatus for purposes of rest and relaxation alone. But the 57-year-old’s six-week break was long-planned to allow a much-needed hip replacement surgery.

But for Kuhn, creation and recuperation went hand in hand. In the midst of her successful recovery—“We are so lucky to be living in a time when this is not such an ordeal and you can be walking on crutches in days,” she said during a recent phone conversation—Kuhn put finishing touches on her new concert’s repertoire.

Judy Kuhn in 'Fun Home' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Judy Kuhn in ‘Fun Home’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The program, an evolution of Kuhn’s one-night American Songbook show at Lincoln Center last year, brings together songs from a single family’s three generations of composers: Richard Rodgers, daughter Mary Rodgers (Once Upon A Mattress), and grandson Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins).

“I first heard Adam’s work,” says Kuhn, “through my friend Tina Landau who directed the premiere of Floyd Collins. I’m actually not the kind of person who has ever spent much time listening to cast albums. But I listened to that one over and over, I just found it so compelling.”

“At some point, I found out that he was Richard Rodgers’ grandson and I was so fascinated. When I thought about the opening of Floyd Collins [set in an Appalachian coal mining community] and the opening of Oklahoma, I could see a connection. There’s this idea of American optimism and the search for what you’re meant to do, a sense that ‘Something really good is about to happen to me.’”

“And then, when you bring in Mary, you see that all three of them are romantics. They write the most beautiful ballads that express people’s need for connection. In the past, we’ve seen multiple generations of actors and authors, but I’ve never seen this sort of thing with composers.”

Whether exploring the Rodgers family or the Bechdel family, Kuhn, who also works as an acting teacher, says she doesn’t like to make a distinction between her acting and her singing.“It’s all storytelling,” she says. “Sometimes we use music to help tell the story. Shakespeare used verse.”

“I always start with the lyrics. I don’t know how to do a song without a good lyric. Language is the leading element, its what needs to be communicated,” says Kuhn. “Then I think about what the composer has done with the music to lift the lyric up. What are the musical cues the composer is offering me as a storyteller. There are some highly trained singers who have never been asked to focus on anything but perfect sound.”

“I’ve never been interested in doing any writing,” says Kuhn. “I never wanted to learn to play the violin. I like being a detective and trying to understand how to best tell a story.”

Judy Kuhn
Feinstein’s at the Nikko
222 Mason Street, San Francisco
June 3, doors: 6:30 p.m/Show: 8
June 4, doors: 5:30 p.m./Show: 7 p.m.

Jim Gladstone is a San Francisco-based creative consultant and writer. A book columnist and Contributing Editor at PASSPORT, he is the author of an award-winning novel, The Big Book of Misunderstanding.

‘Fun Home’ Partners with PFLAG

May 10th, 2016 Comments off
'Fun Home' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

‘Fun Home’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Producers Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson) and Barbara Whitman have announced that Fun Home, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, has partnered with PFLAG, the nation’s largest organization of families, friends and allies to the LGBTQ community, with multiple initiatives both in and out of the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th St).

The partnership officially launched earlier this month, when Lauren Patten, who plays Medium Alison in the musical, performed at PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality Gala on April 4. For the next initiative, Fun Home and PFLAG will create a “Wall of Keys” installation in the theater’s lobby this June, reminiscent of one of the show’s most well-known anthems, “Ring of Keys.” PFLAG Chapters from across the country will submit photos of special activities and events from their groups, which will then be turned into dozens of collages in the shape of large keys, tagged with their regions.

The week leading up to Pride, Fun Home will collaborate with PFLAG to create curated Pride Week talkbacks after select performances. These discussions would include cast members, advocates, and guest speakers, and will dive into the show’s content, impact, and relationship with Pride. Fun Home cast and crew members will then cap off the week by marching with PFLAG in the New York City Pride March on Sunday, June 26, 2016.

As a cornerstone of the partnership, Fun Home will offer discounted tickets to PFLAG chapter members in New York City, and across the country to the organization’s 400+ chapters when Fun Home launches its national tour this September.

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‘Fun Home’ Partners with Story Corps

April 5th, 2016 Comments off

Fun HomeProducers Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson) and Barbara Whitman are thrilled to announce that Fun Home, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, has launched a partnership with the national nonprofit oral history project StoryCorps, on the occasion of the show’s one-year anniversary on Broadway. The collaboration, which serves StoryCorps’ mission to honor the lives of everyday Americans by recording and preserving conversations between them, encourages Fun Home fans to use StoryCorps’ free mobile app to record their stories about their own families and/or experiences seeing the show. All tagged stories will be streamable on-demand at StoryCorps.me/, in addition to being preserved in the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

All stories submitted during the month of April will be entered to win an exclusive contest, and one grand prize winner will be randomly selected to receive two tickets to Fun Home, plus one night at a hotel in Times Square, as well as the chance to officially record their own story in the permanent StoryCorps recording booth in New York City. Official rules and regulations can be found here:www.funhomebroadway.com/StoryCorps.

Users can listen to stories recorded by members of the Fun Home cast and creative team, including Jeanine Tesori, Lisa Kron, Sam Gold, Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, and Sydney Lucas here: https://storycorps.me/user/fun-home/.

This collaboration between StoryCorps and Fun Home arose after StoryCorps’ 2015 gala, hosted by Mo Rocca, which celebrated StoryCorps OutLoud, a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving the stories of LGBTQ people across America, and honored Fun Home and Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.

The partnership will continue across the country once Fun Home begins its National Tour in Cleveland in October 2016.

"Fun Home" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

“Fun Home” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given a quarter of a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.

Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you chose, to one of the StoryCorpsrecording sites. There you’re met by a trained facilitator who greets you and explains the interview process. You’re then brought into a quiet recording room and seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone. The facilitator hits “record,” and you share a forty-minute conversation. At the end of the session, you walk away with a copy of the interview, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview.

With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps has also launched an app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person. Uploaded interviews are preserved at the Library of Congress and on the website StoryCorps.me.

StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of the stories we record through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we share in common than divides us.

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“Everybody Rise!” — Our Most Memorable Theater Moments of 2015

December 31st, 2015 Comments off

The good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve seen it all over the past twelve months, from the groundbreaking musical Hamilton to the mega-flop Doctor Zhivago. 2015 was — shall we say — dramatic? Here’s our top ten list, reminding us that one never knows what to expect when the lights dim.

The cast of 'Hamilton.' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The cast of ‘Hamilton.’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Hamilton Ushers In a New Era of Musical Theater
If you haven’t been able to score a ticket, everything you’ve heard is true… and then some. We’ve had our eye on this megahit since it premiered at The Public last spring:

“Not one performance sounds a false note, each player delivering their machine-gun patter with crystal clarity, singing with depth and feeling, and moving with dynamic precision. Miranda and Odom are perfectly counterbalanced in the leads, while each supporting player, including the members of the ensemble, establishes one or more indelible images. Production values, music, and script blend into a seamlessly integrated whole, all of it stylistically unified.”

“Will Broadway audiences be hungry for a nearly three-hour history lesson? I have no idea, but if musical theater is ever going to move to the next level, it couldn’t have a better teacher.” – Samuel L. Leiter 

"Fun Home" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

“Fun Home” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

Fun Home: A Graphic Novel Takes to the Stage
Gasps of elation were heard last spring when Fun Home snagged the Tony Award for Best Musical. But Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s musical (based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel) has all of the elements of a hit: a terrific score, great story, and heart-wrenching performances that will have you in a puddle by the curtain call.

Fun Home was a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist and it’s easy to see why. The musical, which so truthfully delves into the specifics of Bechdel’s life, also touches upon universal themes about creativity and truth. As her father falls deep into a life of deception as a means to cover up his repressed homosexuality, he inadvertently smothers her artistic expression in an unconscious attempt to control what cannot be controlled, both within him as well as others.” – Matthew Wexler

Chita Rivera in "The Visit" (photo: Thom Kaine via The Broadway Blog.)

Chita Rivera in “The Visit” (photo: Thom Kaine via The Broadway Blog.)

The Visit: Misery Loves Company 
Don’t hate the hater, but Chita Rivera’s latest return to Broadway was a serious snooze fest. Some critics felt that Kander and Ebb’s haunting score had legs, but if so, they were broken.

“Directed with what has now become his signature stamp of ensemble shuffling, John Doyle maneuvers and manipulates the players with the help of choreographer Graciela Daniele. I’m not sure who decided that a coffin should be the one major prop, but after about 90 minutes of gloom and doom one wishes that the whole show could be sealed up and buried six feet under.” – Matthew Wexler

Ease on Down the Road with George Faison
It was the year of The Wiz. Central Park SummerStage presented a tribute to the original production, hosted by George Faison, who won the Tony Award for his choreography in 1975. The televised version introduced the show to a new generation and there’s talk of a Broadway production next year. This is what Faison had to say about why the show still resonates with audiences:

“It was 1939 when Judy Garland starred in the original The Wizard of Oz. We were a country at war then, as well as 1975, and in a lot of ways we’re at war now. We were all trying to achieve a fantasy—even if we were black. But that vernacular was just an overlay. Everybody wants to be Dorothy. It is a show filled with passion and compassion.”

“The brain, the heart, and the most important virtue—courage —are the embodiment of The Wiz.

"Doctor Zhivago" (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

“Doctor Zhivago” (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Doctor Zhivago: Dead on Arrival
Producers described the show as “an epic romance set during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the chaos of the Russian revolution.” With a meager total of 49 performances, critics and audiences disagreed.

“I’m pretty confident that McAnuff (two-time Tony winner for Jersey Boys and The Who’s Tommy) had a “Freaky Friday” experience with Mel Brooks, for there’s no other way to explain the over-the-top-shenanigans slathered across the stage. Actors are constantly running in and out of scenes as if the theater was on fire, shrieking and screaming the dialogue as if the audience was in Westchester.

There are nearly 40 producers listed above the title in the playbill and I have to wonder if any of them saw Doctor Zhivago before opening night—and if they did, what sort of theatrical medicine they hoped might resurrect the production. Unfortunately, this diagnosis is terminal.” Matthew Wexler

Kathleen Marshall: Tried and True    
Along with her brother, Rob Marshall, Kathleen was honored at this year’s New York Pops Birthday Gala. The evening paid tribute to the pair’s cumulative body of work and we had a chance to ask the three-time Tony winner about her attraction toward “old school” musicals.

“I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era but I’m lucky that I get to reinvent them. It’s a combination of what you’re drawn to and projects that you’re offered. But what draws me in is the music and those wonderful scores. And I’m attracted to musical comedy. They have great plot, character and story telling. They’re serious comedies and not camp.”

Gene Saks: Play On
The theater world lost one of its most endearing directors when Gene Saks passed away March 28, 2015. The three-time Tony Award winner was also an American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee. Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League, said, “Gene Saks was a notable presence on Broadway for six decades as an acclaimed performer and celebrated director. His legendary collaboration with Neil Simon contributed unparalleled magic and laughter to Broadway, and he will be missed.” 

'Dames at Sea' (photo: Jeremy Daniel via The Broadway Blog.)

‘Dames at Sea’ (photo: Jeremy Daniel via The Broadway Blog.)

Dames at Sea: Somebody Throw a Life Raft!
One of our favorite underdogs of the season unfortunately had sea legs and couldn’t find its footing. Director/choreographer Randy Skinner created a charming revival of a show that first appeared off-off-Broadway starring none other than Bernadette Peters. LAST CHANCE! Dames at Sea closes January 3. Click here for tickets.

Dames At Sea proves that bigger (and newer) isn’t always better. This charming little show is a star bright enough to outshine some of its flashier neighbors on the Great White Way.” – Matthew Wexler

Michael Feinstein (photo: Karl Simone)

Michael Feinstein (photo: Karl Simone)

Michael Feinstein: Welcome Home
New York City welcomes the return of Michael Feinstein and the renaming of 54 Below to Feinstein’s/54 Below. Passport Magazine featured an exclusive interview with Feinstein and here’s what he had to say about his return to NYC:

“Every space has its own personality, it’s odd how all of these mysterious elements come together. Comedians never did well at the Regency! In San Francisco we offer programming that includes a balance of local and other talent. 54 Below is a gorgeous room, and I’m exited to bring entertainers that I’ve worked with like Cheyenne Jackson and Alan Cumming to the space. (Of course, I’m making a presumption that they’ll want to appear!)”

“We’ll continue to craft the formula that we used at Feinstein’s. A well-trained staff, the way you’re greeted, and the food (I’m vegan so I’m always careful to have a wonderful and eclectic menu)—all of these things contribute to the experience. As far as programming, it will be the best of what they’ve presented and what I can contribute to create a collaborative synergy. We both felt it’d be to our mutual advantage and joined forces. I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to playing twice a year.”

The American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (photo: Christopher Duggan via The Broadway Blog.)

The American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (photo: Christopher Duggan via The Broadway Blog.)

American Dance Machine for the 21st Century: Let Me Dance For You!
For musical theater fanatics there is no better guilty pleasure than the relaunch of American Dance Machine. Originally conceived by the late Lee Theodore in 1976 to create a “living archive” of musical theater dance, the company’s prolific work continued until shortly after her death in 1987. Nikki Feirt Atkins founded its current incarnation in 2012 and Wayne Cilento (seven-time Tony Award nominee including a win for Best Choreography for The Who’s Tommy) directs the company’s current residence at the Joyce Theater. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2016.

Matthew Wexler is the Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @roodeloo.

Review: Fun Home

May 4th, 2015 Comments off
"Fun Home" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

“Fun Home” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

Home is where the heart is. But sometimes that heart can ache from a life burdened with secrets and lies. That same heart can also beat strong when love, compassion, and empathy flows through its chambers. Fun Home, the new Broadway musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, is full of heart in every capacity — a humorous and occasionally harrowing journey that touches upon our creative yearnings and the emotional baggage we carry and occasionally let go of.

funhomeBased on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home is the autobiographical journey of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel as she grows up in a funeral home helmed by her closeted father, discovers her own sexuality during college, and eventually comes to terms with his suicide. Tesori and Kron’s brilliant construct allows for us to share the journey with Alison through three stages of her life: as a young child (played by Obie winner Sydney Lucas), middle Alison (Emily Skeggs) and adult Alison (Beth Malone). Director Sam Gold seamlessly shepherds the action around David Zinn’s set, which includes a carefully curated collection of “fun home” antiques as well as other specific elements in Alison’s life. Originally presented at The Public Theatre on a proscenium stage, Fun Home benefits greatly from Circle in the Square’s in-the-round setting, which enables Gold to further immerse older Alison into the action.

Tesori’s music is a driving force and carries the same emotional highs and lows as previous works such as Violet and Caroline, or Change. But she’s a chameleon and also imbues the score with 70s riffs that echo The Partridge Family and The Jackson Five. Kron’s book is just as keen, balancing humor with pathos as Alison retraces her life before the audience’s eyes.

"Fun Home" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

“Fun Home” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

Alison, in each of her three incarnations, builds a story of hope and forgiveness. As the youngest of the trio, Ms. Lucas is haunting in her natural and untainted demeanor. She is a child discovering her love of drawing and creative expression yet emotionally tethered to her father’s fleeting approval. As the college student, Ms. Skeggs is beautifully gangly and awkward, yet fiery with her newly discovered sexual desires. And providing a calm yet solemn through line, Ms. Malone is not only narrator, but also a mirror of the experiences unfolding before her. Rounding out the cast are exceptional performances from Judy Kuhn as Alison’s mother, and a Tony-nominated performance by Michael Cerveris, whose tortured inner conflict is riveting and will likely resonate with anyone who has struggled with his or her own sexual identity.

Fun Home was a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist and it’s easy to see why. The musical, which so truthfully delves into the specifics of Bechdel’s life, also touches upon universal themes about creativity and truth. As her father falls deep into a life of deception as a means to cover up his repressed homosexuality, he inadvertently smothers her artistic expression in an unconscious attempt to control what cannot be controlled, both within him as well as others.

In Julia Cameron’s principles of The Artist’s Way, the author writes that “there is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life—including ourselves.” The fact that real-life Bechdel was able to transcend her father’s creative suffocation is a triumph and testament to the human spirit and a destiny that she felt compelled to follow. Fun Home pays homage to her journey with a captivating theatrical sensibility you won’t want to miss.

Fun Home
Circle in the Square
235 West 50th Street
Open ended run.

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at roodeloo

What a Deal: “Fun Home” Announces Mobile Discount Lottery Tickets

March 27th, 2015 Comments off

funhome

Fun Home, the highly-anticipated, award-winning American musical that begins previews tonight, has announced an exclusive mobile lottery partnership with TodayTix. With music by four-time Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori, a book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron and direction by Drama Desk nominee Sam Gold, Fun Home officially opens on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street), on Sunday, April 19th.

In lieu of a traditional lottery, Fun Home will partner with TodayTix to allow its members to enter a mobile lottery via the TodayTix app, available in the App Store or Google Play Store. The entry period will begin each day at midnight, and continue until winners are notified via push notification 3-4 hours before the selected performance begins. Winners will be offered the opportunity to purchase either one or two $32 tickets, and can pick up them up from the box office of the Circle in the Square Theatre. Lottery tickets and seat locations are subject to availability.

“Part of our mission is to bring an entirely new audience to the theater by enhancing accessibility. Fun Home is exactly the kind of show that these non-traditional audiences want to see: daring, brilliant and culturally relevant,” said TodayTix co-founder Merritt Baer. “We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this partnership, which extends our existing relationship with The Public Theater and the works that have been incubated there.”

Pronounced “a beautiful, heartbreaker of a musical” by the New York Times, Fun Home is the groundbreaking new Broadway musical based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir. Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family – her mother, brothers and volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father – that connect with her in surprising new ways.

The cast of Fun Home includes Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris, three-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Obie Award-winner Sydney Lucas, Emily Skeggs, Roberta Colindrez, Zell Steele Morrow, Joel Perez, Oscar Williams, Lauren Patten, Gabriella Pizzolo, Marrick Smith, Jim Stanek, and Nicole Van Giesen.

Fun Home opened to rave reviews at The Public Theater in October 2013, and was quickly extended four times due to popular demand. It was named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, and received the OBIE, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Off Broadway Alliance Awards in the 2013-2014 season.

First Look: “Fun Home” Arrives on Broadway

March 19th, 2015 Comments off

funhomeOne of the most thrilling arrivals on Broadway this spring is the transfer of Fun Home from its off Broadway run at the Public Theater last year. Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris, three time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Obie Award-winner Sydney Lucas, Emily Skeggs, Joel Perez and Roberta Colindrez reprise their roles from the sold-out run.

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home follows the story of Alison as she rummages through old boxes and discovers memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family – her mother, brothers and her volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father – who each connect with her in surprising and revealing new ways. Fun Home is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and already the winner of five theatrical awards for Best Musical.

Take a look at the shows journey to Broadway.

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Off Broadway Alliance Award Winners Announced

May 27th, 2014 Comments off

The Off Broadway Alliance, the organization of Off Broadway producers, theaters, general managers, press agents and marketing professionals, today announced the winners of the 4th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Awards, honoring commercial and not-for-profit Off Broadway productions that opened during the 2013-2014 season.

Hamish McCann in "La Soirée" (photo: Prudence Upton) via The Broadway Blog.

Hamish McCann in “La Soirée” (photo: Prudence Upton) via The Broadway Blog.

2014 Off Broadway Award Nominee List (Winners in Bold)

Best New Musical
Disaster!
* Fun Home
Heathers: The Musical
Murder for Two
What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined

Best New Play
Bad Jews
Breakfast With Mugabe
* Hand to God
The Heir Apparent
Regular Singing

Best Revival
I Remember Mama
Measure for Measure
The Model Apartment
The Mystery of Irma Vep
* Saint Joan

Best Unique Theatrical Experience
Eager to Lose
Cirkopolis
* La Soirée
Queen of the Night
Shut Up, Sit Down & Eat

Best Family Show
Dear Albert Einstein (Making Books Sing)
The Civil War (Theatreworks USA)
Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (Atlantic Theater Company)
The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told! (Off Sides Entertainment)
* The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! (La MaMa in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company)

Legend of Off Broadway Honorees
Edmund Gaynes
Andre Gregory
Terrence McNally
Wallace Shawn

Hall of Fame Awards
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Ruth Maleczech
Nicholas Martin

The Off Broadway Alliance is a non-profit corporation organized by theater professionals dedicated to supporting, promoting and encouraging the production of Off Broadway theater and to making live theater increasingly accessible to new and diverse audiences. Among its initiatives, The Off Broadway Alliance sponsors 20at20, the event that runs twice a year for 20 days and lets theatergoers purchase $20 tickets to dozens of Off Broadway shows 20 minutes before curtain. It produces a free Seminar Series focusing on the culture, business and history of Off Broadway featuring major players from the Off Broadway scene. The Alliance operates the OBA Mentorship Program, which provides new producers with guidance and direction from Off Broadway veterans. And the Alliance created the Off Broadway Economic Impact Report, which outlines Off Broadway’s over $500 million annual impact on the economy of the City of New York.

The 2014 Off Broadway Alliance Awards will be presented on Tuesday, June 17th at 4:30 PM at Sardi’s.
For more information, visit www.offbroadwayalliance.com.