You probably know that Fun Home, the groundbreaking Tony Award-winning musical coming to our stage in just a few days, tells the story of Alison as she unravels her family mysteries and looks back on her childhood. Based on cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s real life events depicted in her best-selling graphic memoir of the same name (you’ve probably seen it in your local bookstore), Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different stages of her life. But who is the real Alison, and what prompted her to share her life with millions?
“Fun Home” was an idea for 20 years before Bechdel hit the drawing board. “It’s about growing up with my closeted gay father who killed himself when I was in college, a few months after I told my parents that I was a lesbian,” Bechdel says. “It’s a very complicated, very personal, very particular story, and a story that I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to tell because of the family secrets it revealed.”
Yet, reveal it she did. “Fun Home” hit bookshelves in 2006 and was named the #1 Book of the Year by Time in 2010. Bechdel welcomed us to her home on Maple Avenue with this tale because she “felt an increasingly insistent need to tell it.” Not only was “Fun Home” created to honor the “complexity of who [her] father was,” but Bechdel had a deeper reason embedded within the work. “I felt like I had to tell this story because it was such a vivid example of the impact of homophobia in real life, on an actual family.”
“The story of my father and me is very much a political story. It’s the story of two generations of gay people,” Bechdel states. “Fun Home is also about my creative debt to my father. The deeper story is the story of how my father taught me to be an artist.”
From real life events that simmered in the mind of a graphic artist to a wholly creative and original musical, who knows when this refreshing take on Broadway will return to Austin? It’s here for the first time August 11 – 13 for only five performances in our Dell Hall. Come to the Fun Home!
See Alison Bechdel’s story in musical form from Lisa Kron (book and lyrics) & Jeanine Tesori (music) THIS WEEK, August 11 – 13 right here in Austin, Texas.