Saw the play Fun Home over the weekend during a getaway in L.A. to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. I’m often touched in the theatre, but I rarely cry in the theatre.
I cried on Saturday night. Twice.
As the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist, Fun Home balances humor and tragedy to create an emotional roller-coaster of introspection that left me pondering for days.
First, the little boy inside me cried at the acknowledgement that like Alyson, the protagonist, he saw himself in other gay men at a very young age and knew he was like them. I cried that that little boy felt fear rather than wonder and joy. The song, “Ring of Keys” as performed at the 2015 Tony awards is a beautiful rendition of this pivotal moment for gay youth.
My second moment came near the end when Alyson’s Mom reveals the true extent of her pain in her marriage to Alyson’s Dad, Bruce. He is a closeted gay man who has created a life of deception and untruth for those around him. The song “Days and Days” provides a window into the wife’s pain and hopelessness. I cried both in empathy for my ex-wife and in gratitude that I stopped it before it got this bad. I came out and we divorced in time for both of us to have a life.
I’m so happy that I have renewed my season tickets for the traveling Broadway shows in my area to see this touching play again.