NEW YORK, N.Y. – Broadway musicals aren’t often set in funeral homes, but one is about to — “Fun Home.”
Producers of the offbeat but moving and refreshing show said Thursday they will mount the musical this spring at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Performances will begin April 4 under the direction of Sam Gold.
“Fun Home,” with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, played for four months at the off-Broadway Public Theater last year. It’s been adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about growing up in a funeral home with a closeted gay dad.
“When I watch the show, I see a child discovering her parent through adult eyes and the emotional, transforming experience that results. I do believe everyone can relate to that. There’s a universal idea there that hugely appeals to people,” said Kristin Caskey, one of the producers.
The musical — the title is an abbreviation for the business Bechdel’s father runs — was named the season’s Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle this year and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“There’s something about the sum total of the story, the music, the artistry, the stagecraft. Even though it’s unexpected material, audiences just trusted it and opened themselves up to it,” said producer Mike Isaacson. “It wasn’t a kind-of-liked-it show. It was a you’ve-got-to-go-see-it show.”
Tesori is also the songwriter behind “Violet” and “Caroline, or Change” and Kron’s works include “Well,” ”2.5 Minute Ride” and “In the Wake.”
Tony Award-winners Caskey and Isaacson have produced such shows as “Red,” ”Caroline, or Change” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” They have joined up with “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “If/Then” producer Barbara Whitman to present “Fun Home.”
Mark Kennedy is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits