Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Alexandra Socha Among Cast of Fun Home; Other Public Theater Casting Announced, Too

By Michael Gioia
08 Aug 2013

Judy Kuhn
Judy Kuhn
Photo by Denise Winters

Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris and Tony nominee Judy Kuhn are among the cast of Fun Home, the new musical by Tony nominees Jeanine Tesori (music) and Lisa Kron (book and lyrics) that will be given its world premiere beginning Sept. 30 at The Public Theater. The Public also announced that tickets for the fall 2013 season are now on sale.

Directed by Sam Gold and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home will run through Nov. 3, with an official opening night set for Oct. 22.

The complete cast will feature Griffin Birney (John Bechdel), Cerveris 
(Bruce Bechdel), Roberta Colindrez (Joan), Noah Hinsdale (Christian Bechdel), Kuhn (Helen), Sydney Lucas (Small Alison), Beth Malone (Alison), Joel Perez (Roy) and Alexandra Socha (Medium Alison).

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."



Casting has also been announced for the Foundry Theatre's production of Good Person of Szechwan, which will begin Oct. 18. With a translation by John Willett and directed by The Public's Public Works director Lear deBessonet, the work will run through Nov. 24, with an official opening Oct. 29.

The cast includes Taylor Mac, Kate Benson, Ephraim Birney, Vinie Burrows, Clifton Duncan, Jack Allen Greenfield, Annie Golden, Brooke Ishibashi, Paul Juhn, Mia Katigbak, Lisa Kron, David Turner and Darryl Winslow. Original live music is by César Alvarez with The Lisps.

Here's how it's billed: "Can we practice goodness and create a world to sustain it? In this comic and complex play, one of Brecht's most entertaining characters, Shen Tei, the good-hearted, penniless, cross-dressing prostitute, is forced to disguise herself as a savvy businessman named Shui Ta to master the ruthlessness necessary to be a 'good person' in a cruel world of limited resources."

Regular Singing, Richard Nelson's fourth and final play in The Apple Family Plays series, will open Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. The first three Apple plays will also return, in repertory, with a cast that features Maryann Plunkett (Barbara), Jay O. Sanders (Richard), Laila Robins (Marian), Jon Devries (Benjamin), Stephen Kunken (Tim) and Sally Murphy (Jane).

According to the Public, "These plays about family, politics, change, and the way we live today burst with remarkable immediacy. Each of The Apple Family Plays originally premiered on the night on which it is set. In That Hopey Changey Thing, the Apples reflect on the state of their family and discuss memory, manners and politics as polls close on mid-term election night 2010 and a groundswell of conservative sentiment flips Congress on its head. In Sweet and Sad, a family brunch stirs up discussions of loss, remembrance and a decade of change. And Sorry, which premiered last fall, finds the Apples sorting through family anxieties and confusion on the day of electing the President."

The Apple Family Plays will begin performances Oct. 22 and run through Dec. 15. Tickets to the Public Lab of Regular Singing are $20.

As previously announced, the fall 2013 season will begin in September with All the Faces of the Moon, created and performed by Mike Daisey. Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, the work will begin performances in Joe's Pub Sept. 5 and run for 29 consecutive performances through Oct. 3.

According to the Public, "Mike Daisey returns with a breathtakingly epic theatrical event: a story told over the course of a lunar month, a new monologue every night. Each evening stands alone as a single episode, but together they create a living theatrical novel set against the secret history of New York City — a city that is loved and loathed and larger than life. From Pentecostal church services held in IKEA showrooms to Nikola Tesla's laboratories in the Lower East Side, from the infamous Mole People's convocations deep beneath the subway lines to the hidden and terrifying plans of Robert Moses, Daisey weaves a story of ordinary magic in a most extraordinary city. Night after night he will strive like Sheherazade to tell the largest story ever attempted in the American theatre."

Elevator Repair Service will also return with the world premiere of Arguendo, described as a "a playful riff on the 1991 Supreme Court case Barnes v. Glen Theatre," Sept. 10. Directed by John Collins, Arguendo will run through Oct. 6, with an official opening set for Sept. 24.

According to press notes, "In this provocative case, a group of exotic dancers, citing the First Amendment, challenged a ban on public nudity. ERS stages the oral argument of the case verbatim with their signature theatricality, wit and physical precision. The production design features a breathtaking swirl of animated text projections by celebrated visual artist, Ben Rubin. Arguendo was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University."

Every performance on Wednesdays and Sundays of Arguendo will be followed by talkbacks with ERS artistic director John Collins, and constitutional law scholars and journalists who write about the Court. These talkbacks will not only give audiences a chance to learn more about the history of the case, they will give them a chance to participate, themselves, in the discussion that the Court itself has begun.

The Public is located at 425 Lafayette Street. For more information and tickets, call (212) 967-7555 or visit PublicTheater.org.