All tagged Fun Home

“I Am What I Am”: Musicals for Pride Month

With June being Gay Pride month and the month drawing to a close, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate here at Mark Robinson Writes than to take a look at some of the musicals that that have told the story of those who have been marginalized by society simply for who and how they identify and love. Progress has been made over the years, though we have certainly slipped back in the last few years, our voice is strong and proud. This list certainly isn’t all-inclusive, but it is one I think captures the best of what musical theatre has done to tell the story of the LGBTQ community.

The Broadway Musical Troublemaker of 1947

Every once and a while, a musical comes along that stirs up the pot, shocking us with its audacity to speak the truth. In recent years, musicals such as HamiltonNext to NormalThe Scottsboro Boys, and Fun Home come to mind as examples of musicals that were not afraid to look societal and artistic norms in the face and thumb their nose as what is comfortable or conventional. This was done in-an-effort to cast some light on overlooked subject matter, issues that demanded a new perspective, or inconvenient truths that may have been glossed over. It might be hard to believe, but musical theatre has typically been at the forefront of performance mediums in addressing controversial topics. In fact, Finian's Rainbow, which opened on Broadway in 1947 (and celebrated the 70th Anniversary of that premiere on January 10th), may have been one of the nerviest of all Broadway productions. It subversively confronted race issues by addressing bigotry, head-on, and by taking steps within its production to demonstrate active change. Finian's Rainbow was (and remains to be) one of Broadway's bravest shows. 

Fun Home Goodbyes: Parents and Children and Their Neutral Zones

The Broadway musical Fun Home closed a few days ago after a successful run that resulted in a Tony-win for Best Musical. I wish it had run longer, much longer, because it is such a heartfelt musical without easy answers and simple conclusions. Fun Home came closer that any Broadway musical has ever come to balancing the darkness and the light of growing up in a real family. We are all complicated in our own right, but throw our relationships with our parents into the mix, and many of us can have our neurosis exponentially charged. 

Reflections on Fun Home

I am a little late coming to the table at Fun Home. Complications of time, money and geography made it impossible for me to see it any sooner, though I have listened to the Broadway cast recording, again and again, in anticipation of what turned out to be a very unique show that deeply affected me when, and only when, I was able to witness it in the round, live, at the Circle in the Square Theatre.