“Fun Home” The Musical Is Officially Heading To Broadway, Thank Goodness

Feature image by Joan Marcus


Hey, do you remember that book that changed your life, that book called Fun Home? You know, the Alison Bechdel comic book memoir about coming out and her relationship with her dad that launched a thousand queer book club discussions? Well GUESS WHAT, the musical adaptation of Fun Home will open at Broadway’s 700-ish-seat Circle in the Square Theater on April 22! The date is significant because it’s IMMEDIATELY before the normal Tony Awards cut-off date, so you know they’re gunning for Best Musical next year. But you guys. BROADWAY. The big time! The biggest stage a musical can aspire to play on, so to speak! This is an enormous deal!

Transferring from Off-Broadway to Broadway is notoriously difficult, particularly for shows that aren’t well-known properties, since it costs millions of dollars to mount each production and since it can be difficult to draw in large audiences. What that generally translates to, when you’re a queer woman who is a feminist and a fan of musical theater, is a lot of sighing and accepting the fact that you’ll almost never see yourself reflected onstage unless your sexuality is a punchlineRent notwithstanding. (This applies to professional and amateur productions [and generally to queer women but not queer men, and to queer women of color waaaaaay more than white queer women], but that’s a much larger conversation for another day.) I mean, seriously, it’s rare enough to get a show that’s not based on a movie or music anthology to Broadway at all, let alone a show written by women, let alone a show about a masculine-of-center queer woman! What a time to be alive. This could be the start of something new, do you hear the people sing, let the sunshine in, etc.

College Alison sings about her first time sleeping with a woman, photo by Joan Marcus

College Alison sings about her first time having sex with a woman, photo by Joan Marcus

Casting for the Broadway production will be announced at some point in the (hopefully near) future. In the meantime, I strongly recommend listening to the Off-Broadway cast recording, featuring performances from Beth Malone, Michael Cerveris and Judy “Pocahontas” Kuhn, among others. Also, you should watch this clip from the Drama Desk Awards of Sydney Lucas as Young Alison singing “Ring of Keys,” which is about her first encounter with a butch woman. You guys, I can’t even believe there is a song about that. This is so crazy, I can’t believe this show is transferring to Broadway, somebody hold me.

Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

Grace has written 92 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. I am SO freaking excited about this!! I hope that it does well on Broadway and is released to the public fairly soon!! I work for a theatre and do the licensing for shows to be performed at our venue…. I am so going to push the possibility of having it performed at my venue!!!

  2. omged i logged on to comment for the first time in ages just because i am so beyond excited for this! i’ll probably never get the opportunity to see it, but i am so happy it exists and can’t wait to hear the soundtrack.

  3. This almost makes up for the fact that not only did Bare: A Pop Opera never make it from off-Broadway to Broadway, they never released the cast recording they announced. (Despite the fact that Bare is about gay men, its also the only musical that’s ever made me completely bawl ugly tears).

    Grace, have you ever considered writing a piece about the representation of queer women in musical theatre? Because I’m kind of tired of one half of the commonly known lesbians in musical theatre being known primarily for moo-ing their way into the 2nd act.

  4. I had an amazing experience working on and being involved with the Off-Broadway production. We still talk about the show at the theatre, and everyone was super excited yesterday. My sincere congratulations to Lisa and Jeanine, and I can’t wait to see Fun Home continue to change the course of musical theatre.

  5. I was so bummed I missed this Off-Broadway. I’m glad it’s moving uptown (and will probably win all of the Tonys!).

    Also, I love that it’s playing at Circle in the Square, which is such an intimate Broadway house. Also, it’s right next to the Gershwin, where “Wicked” plays. Can you imagine a little queer girl wanting to go see “Wicked” because hello subtext between Elphaba and Galinda. But then she can’t go see it because it’s sold out, and she just stumbles next door and is able to see a show where she sees herself, no subtext required, on stage? This makes me so happy!

  6. I hope Sydney Lucas won’t have aged out of the role by the time this goes up. She was just incredible.

    I’m so pleased about this news. I went to a very unfortunate lesbianesque Off-Broadway play last night and it felt like a massive backslide. (Of course I’m still here fighting the good fight writing plays for us frantically, but funny thing about getting those kinds of plays produced…)

  7. Holy shit! I SO want to see this Musical! I just read the book for my queer women’s book club and the fact that it’s even he subject matter for a Broadway musical is so freaking awesome. But not only is that awesome but the songs are really freaking good!!! Uug why do I have to live so far from NY and be so a poor!

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