Jeanine Tesori Identifies Her Own “Ring of Keys” Moment

News   Jeanine Tesori Identifies Her Own “Ring of Keys” Moment Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori were awarded the Tony Award for Best Original score for Fun Home June 7. In her acceptance speech, Tesori said that her own “Ring of Keys” moment occurred when she realized that a career in music was available to her as a woman. 

Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori
Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

"I didn’t realize that a career in music was available to women until 1981 [when] I saw the magnificent Linda Twine conduct Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, and that was my 'Ring of Keys' moment," said Tesori.

The Fun Home song “Ring of Keys,” in which young Alison recognizes a kindred spirit in an “old-school butch” delivery woman, was performed by Sydney Lucas at the 2015 Tony Awards ceremony.

"[It] is not a song of love,” continued Tesori. “It’s a song of identification because for girls you have to see it to be it."

"I am so proud to be standing here with Lisa Kron. We stand on the shoulders of other women who’ve come before us: Mary Rodgers, Tania Leon, Linda Twine."

Tesori also thanked her grandfather, a composer from Italy who had immigrated to the United States to fulfill his dream of working in music. "He died when my mother was five years old, working in a gas station," she said.

Tesori finished by dedicating the award to all of the "theatre children." "We miss your bedtimes and you nap during sound-check," she said. "My daughter Siena Rafter is the reason I am here. I’ve never wanted to be an actress but the role of mother is something that I cherish."

Kron also made an acceptance speech. "I can’t really believe I’m standing here because I have never written a musical before," she said.

"I am here for one reason and one reason only, and I am so proud to be standing here next to the magnificent Jeanine Tesori."

Fun Home was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2015. 

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