Despite a subject matter that some balked at as commercially nonviable, a moving lesbian coming-of-age story that parallels the lead character's sexual awakening with the suicide of her closeted gay father, Fun Home has become a phenomenon. The musical extended numerous times during its Off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater and transferred to Broadway earlier this season, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book and Best Musical. It's also been a strong box-office performer, playing to a packed 103.5% capacity last week.
A national tour is planned to launch during the 2016-2017 season. A release date for professional and amateur licensing will follow. The show's script is currently available for purchase with a vocal selections book to be released in the coming months. Visit SamuelFrench.com.
"Fun Home is that rare musical that pushes the theatrical envelope," said Bruce Lazarus, executive director, Samuel French, in a statement. "We are proud that the authors have chosen Samuel French to bring their vision to a wider audience."
A cast album is currently available.
For Beth Malone, "Butch Is A Beautiful Thing" — What This Fun Home Star Learned Playing Lesbian Tony-winning director Sam Gold, who helmed the show's Off-Broadway premiere, re-imagined the show's original proscenium staging for its Broadway transfer, which is now presented in-the-round at the intimate Circle in the Square. Previews began March 27. The musical opened April 19. Read reviews here.
The writers are charting new territory in a medium that has been strongly shaped by gay male culture on stage and off. Lesbian musicals are nearly unheard of. "Even musicals about women, where women are the central characters and not just a romantic lead and really have a story of their own [are rare]," Bechdel told Playbill.com during the show's original Off-Broadway run. "The moment with Small Alison singing about the butch delivery woman feels huge. To have a child sing about desire and identification; it's brilliant."'
Fun Home is described as "a fresh, daring new musical based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father's hidden desires."
Fun Home is produced by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson) and Barbara Whitman, along with Carole Shorenstein Hays, Tom Casserly, Paula Marie Black, Latitude Link, Terry Schnuck/Jack Lane, The Forstalls, Nathan Vernon, Mint Theatricals, Elizabeth Armstrong, JAM Theatricals, and Delman Whitney.
For tickets, visit Telecharge.com.
View highlights from the Broadway production below: