Tuesday night was opening night for Fun Home at Nashville’s TPAC. The Tony Award-winning musical is a tale of acceptance that combines humor with tragedy.
Fun Home is based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, that tells the true story of her family life over the years. We see Alison as a child, as a college student and eventually as a 40-something comic trying to piece together her relationship with her father. The popular musical features music by Jeanine Tesori with the book and lyrics by Lisa Kron.
With no introduction on Tuesday night (and with no introduction necessary), the music started for Fun Home. Although the play is told through Alison’s eyes, it’s not just her story. The musical is very much her father, Bruce’s, story. He’s a repressed married family man whose struggles with sexuality ultimately end in tragedy. Although there is a heartbreaking theme throughout the one hour and forty-five-minute production, the cast still manages to make us laugh.
The breakout musical performance is an upbeat, hilarious “commercial” Alison and her brothers create for the Fun Home, the family’s funeral home. They make formaldehyde and embalming jokes in front of strobe lights before Bruce calls his daughter in for a more serious moment, one that she remembers for years to come.
Fun Home‘s entire cast — and the orchestra — is talented but Abby Corrigan’s performance of college-aged Alison is crucial to the comedic nature of the musical. She makes us laugh while struggling to find her sexual identity — and tell her parents. Her comedic timing was impeccable.
The musical is at TPAC from now until Oct. 15 in the Andrew Jackson Hall. It’s emotional, it’s moving, it’s funny, it’s tragic and it’s the story you need to see this year. Get your tickets now at TPAC’s official website and preview the musical below.