Musical Review: “Fun Home” impresses during its Detroit debut at the Fisher Theatre

Fun Home

DETROIT — Five-time Tony award-winning musical “Fun Home” made its Motor City premiere at The Fisher Theatre on November 29.  It will run until December 11. The musical is adapted by Lisa Kron with music by Jeanine Tesori.

This is a story about a girl, Alison Bechdel (Kate Shindle), who lives in rural Pennsylvania in the 1970’s.  Her character is played by three different people–in three stages of her life.  The adult Alison also narrates the story as it moves along.  Little girl Alison is played by Alessandra Baldacchino.  Teenage/college student Alison is played by Abby Corrigan.

As a child, Alison always wanted to be a cartoonist.  Her father, Bruce, played by Robert Petkoff, didn’t quite approve.  His profession was an English teacher and funeral director.  He always wanted Alison to read books.

Bruce was a closet homosexual man who hid behind his marriage to Helen, played by Susan Moniz.  That is what they did in those days, I guess.  Over the years, Alison, from her childhood on, was a tomboy.  She never wanted to wear dresses.  During college, she met a girl and realized she was also gay.

The musical was quite different from what I have ever seen.  “Fun Home” reveals some exceptional storytelling.  It is heartwarming along with being heartbreaking.

I especially liked the set.  There were a couple of set changes.  The old Victorian home on Maple Avenue featured a grand piano, old pictures on the wallpapered wall with old Victorian furniture.  The set was nominated in 2015 for Best Scenic Design of a Musical (David Zinn).

There was no intermission during this performance.  I rather enjoyed “Fun Home” and I think you will too.

Performance times for Fun Home at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd, in Detroit are:
Tuesday through Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.; Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and Special open cautioned performance on Sunday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for Fun Home start at $39 (includes facility and parking fees) and are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 800-982-2787 and online at Broadway In Detroit or ticketmaster.com.

 

Fun Home
From left to right: Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’, Pierson Salvador as ‘Christian’ and Lennon Nate Hammond as ‘John’ in Fun Home (Photo by Joan Marcus)

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