Alison Bechdel is not afraid to open the closet door and step proudly out into the light of revelation. In college, she bravely emerged as a lesbian, and shortly afterward her father Bruce, often violent and suffering from depression, committed suicide. The fact that he too was gay and could never admit it, especially after his daughter's open pronouncement, may have conspired to cause his desperate act.
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts is welcoming the national tour of "Fun Home," the multiple Tony Award winning Best Musical by Lisa Kron for book and lyrics and Jeanine Tesori for music from Tuesday, June 20 to Sunday, June 25. Based on an exceptional graphic novel penned by Bechdel herself,"Fun Home" explores her origins, growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, as the daughter of a father who teaches high school English, restores old houses and runs a funeral home and a mom who oversees the raising of three children.
The musical examines Alison at a trio of distinct ages of life, as a child of ten, a college student and today as woman in her forties. With the advantage of hindsight, we witness Alison "remembering," trying to cull from the past the important clues that will impact the present.
Understanding her father and his secret life involving young men and her own blooming sexuality, Alison examines the journals she has kept to find revealing answers about her family. The musical has been termed "wholly original," exquisite," "ground breaking" and "uplifting" for it is not every family
that seeks entertainment playing hide and seek inside the ever present coffins. As a cartoonist, Alison is able to see the world in quirky art drawings as she becomes a detective probing her past for answers to the mysteries of her childhood. The biggest question is who was her dad and did she having role or responsibility in his death?
For tickets ($25.50-95.50), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at
www.bushnell.org. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p..m.
Let Alison Bechdel draw you literally and figuratively into her past as she creates a distinct picture of her family through her adult eyes.