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‘FUN HOME,’ and all of its brilliance

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    runninglikewater
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    #1204041621

    I just keep finding myself thinking about how powerful this show is and how beautiful its score is. I saw it back in 2016 and the soundtrack still hits me the same!

    Anyone else have thoughts about this show? Watching the bootleg has made me nostalgic…

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204042301

    I got to catch the national tour when it came to my area in October of 2016. I thought it was extraordinary. You can read my full thoughts on it in the link below.
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/BWW-Review-FUN-HOME-National-Tour-at-Durham-Performing-Arts-Center-20161026

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    In fact, when Broadway.com did their predictions video for the 2015 Tony Awards, Alex Meyer posted a comment about the Best Musical race between An American in Paris and Fun Home saying: “And this year’s Best Musical race reminds me a lot of the Best Picture race between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave last year, in which you had the big crowd-pleasing box office juggernaut (Gravity and An American In Paris), vs. the smaller, more serious subject matter worth looking at in a new light (12 Years a Slave and Fun Home).”

    Though if you ask me, I think that race was much more comparable to the Best Picture race of 2016 between La La Land and Moonlight. Especially given how one of the many influences behind the former film was the original movie of An American in Paris while the latter film was dealing with the subject of LGBT like Fun Home (not to mention that both projects had multiple performers play the main character in three different stages of their lives).

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    Juanald02
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    While I see the similarities with Moonlight v. La La Land I don’t think the comparison really stands because An American In Paris wasn’t seen as a guaranteed lock like La La Land was; from what I remember of the season Fun Home was always the favorite to win. I Remember the argument being that An American In Paris could win because road tony voters believed it would tour better than Fun Home, but ultimately Fun Home prevailed.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    To be fair, I didn’t necessarily mean that the 2015 Best Musical race was exactly like the 2016 Best Picture race. I was just saying that they were similar in terms of what the top two contenders were individual.

    For a while, it was believed that a majority of Tony voters were out-of-town producers who present national touring productions at their venues. Though a few years ago, it was revealed that the road vote only makes up about 10% of the voting bloc. At the time, it was definitely showing with more critical darlings like Once and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder both winning Best Musical over more commercially viable shows like Newsies, and Beautiful​. Tony voters probably felt that since An American in Paris was already doing so well at the box office, that it didn’t need the recognition. Therefore, Fun Home‘s success at the Tonys was able to give the show a much longer shelf life than what many thought was possible for a musical dealing with tough subject matter.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    I remember watching an episode of Theatre Talk involving a panel of critics like Ben Brantley, Terry Teachout, and John Simon. John Simon, the legendary contrarian that he was, hated Fun Home, saying it was horribly written (although he liked Michael Cerveris’ performance), and that it was childish because it was based on a graphic novel, which he admitted he hadn’t read. Both Ben Brantley and Terry Teachout came back at him hard, given that like most critics, they adored that show. Film wise, he also famously got into a debate over Star Wars with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on an episode of Nightline in the early 80s, with Simon also dismissing that property as childish.

    I saw Fun Home on tour myself, and John Simon couldn’t have been more wrong. Very rarely have I seen a show balance heartbreak and hilarity so well. The scene where the kids make their own fake commercial for the funeral home was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. One of the things that annoys me the most is when a property has kids trying too hard to be funny, but here, it never felt forced. The laughter the audience had felt genuine.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204043817

    I remember watching an episode of Theatre Talk involving a panel of critics like Ben Brantley, Terry Teachout, and John Simon. John Simon, the legendary contrarian that he was, hated Fun Home, saying it was horribly written (although he liked Michael Cerveris’ performance), and that it was childish because it was based on a graphic novel, which he admitted he hadn’t read. Both Ben Brantley and Terry Teachout came back at him hard, given that like most critics, they adored that show. Film wise, he also famously got into a debate over Star Wars with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on an episode of Nightline in the early 80s, with Simon also dismissing that property as childish. 

    On another episode of Theater Talk, Michael Riedel brought up a conversation he had with John Simon about The Drowsy Chaperone. Riedel asked John why he hated the show so much, and his response was “Because it’s Canadian.”

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    Sam Eckmann
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    John Simon was wrong. About basically everything.

    Fun Home is an incredible piece of art. I am still astounded at the way Tesori and Kron were able to put the sense of indescribable recognition and its resulting emotions into song with “Ring of Keys.” One of my favorite Broadway memories of all time.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    On another episode of Theater Talk, Michael Riedel brought up a conversation he had with John Simon about The Drowsy Chaperone. Riedel asked John why he hated the show so much, and his response was “Because it’s Canadian.”

    Canadian or not, it’s funny as hell. And of course, we all know that Danny Burstein was robbed of a well-deserved Tony for that show. I don’t care if he wasn’t as big of a star as he is now or that Jersey Boys was the big blockbuster of the season. That Tony should have been his.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    John Simon was wrong. About basically everything.

    Fun Home is an incredible piece of art. I am still astounded at the way Tesori and Kron were able to put the sense of indescribable recognition and its resulting emotions into song with “Ring of Keys.” One of my favorite Broadway memories of all time.

    Imagine if we had footage of the moment that Sylvia Miles infamously dumped a plate of food on him. Now THAT would’ve been hilarious to see because of how much I heard he deserved it.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Canadian or not, it’s funny as hell. And of course, we all know that Danny Burstein was robbed of a well-deserved Tony for that show. I don’t care if he wasn’t as big of a star as he is now or that Jersey Boys was the big blockbuster of the season. That Tony should have been his.

    Could you please knock that off? At times, you sound like a broken record on these forums.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    Sorry. We all have certain awards losses we can’t ever let go of.

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