Fun Home

Critics

LemonMeter

95 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Fun Home - When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.

Reviews

Avatar

Never am I disappointed when visiting the Chance Theater in Anaheim. This acclaimed resident theater boasts a parade of the best Los Angeles creatives and acting talent. In this instance, let me heartily recommend this thrilling, heartbreaking production. “Come to the Fun Home” without delay!

sweet - Bill Reese - Table to Stage - ...read full review


Avatar

The performances were excellent all around, and Ashlee Espinosa, who plays the adult version of Alison, was their anchor. I accepted her so completely as Bechdel that it was natural to accept the rest of the cast as the family of her memories and her true younger self. Holly Reichert, who plays the youngest version of Alison, deserves a special nod for how ably she carries a substantial amount of the show’s action and dialogue. It’s impossible to play favorites with this cast, though, as each actor has at least one moment in which they completely shine… as brightly as the carefully polished surfaces in the Bechdel home.

sweet - Leona Laurie - Geek Girl Authority - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Marya Mazor expertly builds the family’s mini-dramas toward their powerful resolution while artfully deploying the cast of nine (which includes two more incredible youngsters: Reese Hewitt and Christopher Patow) around Bradley Kaye’s spare yet encompassing set.

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

When I think of fun, I think of lighthearted, easy-going excitement, and this ironically named show is certainly not something I would consider fun. It is, however, a tear-jerking and spellbinding look into one woman’s innermost thoughts and memories.

sweet - Alina Mae Wilson - Orange Curtain Review - ...read full review


Jordan Young

Intimate theatrical experience is what the Chance does best, and this dysfunctional family drama and lesbian coming out story is a fine example—and a perfect choice as their 22nd season opener. Only a pair of geniuses such as Kron & Tesori could pull a rabbit out of a hat on Broadway with a piece of material like Bechdel’s memoir; the Chance is fortunate once more to have the services of Marya Mazor, a magician in the guise of a director who navigates the delicate balance with aplomb.

sweet - Jordan Young - JordanRYoung - ...read full review


Leo Buck

At turns haunting, enthralling, humorous, devastating—and well deserving of every award it has earned; love it or hate it, respect or reject it’s compelling message, this is some powerful theater and the new production at “The Chance” lives up to, and honors all of the musical’s many strengths and virtues.

sweet - Leo Buck - Bucking Trends - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

Fun Home tackles with devastating contrast the social realities facing gay Americans across generations. And while it’s by no means a complete reflection of the gay experience, the work’s personal, biographical truths reveal with brutal honesty how such social change can quite literally mean the taking of life or the giving of it. (The fun or the funeral.) In experiencing such a work, we allow queer voices to be heard from either side of fate reminding us of the power society wields in shaping our own destinies. So step inside. While it certainly doesn’t live up to the large-scale national tour that swept through the Ahmanson three years ago, even with its cracks, this lil’ Home’s worth a night’s visit.

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Mazor admirably brings lucidity and dynamics to the complex mechanics of staging a bittersweet story that takes place in three time frames, embodied by three perfectly matched, first-rate actresses. Complementing the action perfectly is Lex Leigh’s music direction, sublimely pumping loads of adrenalin to your heart through Tesori’s grippingly haunting music as you watch the now and again happy, frequently revelatory, and at times, tragic lives unfold before you. Director Leigh is on keyboard in the piece, accompanied by Jimmy Beall on bass, Jorge Zuniga on drums. Isabella Pepke is cellist.

sweet - Chris Daniels - The Show Report - ...read full review


Avatar

More challenging than grim, plus often highly entertaining, this show about self-exploration is, in its execution, compelling and life-affirming.

sweet - Christopher Smith - OC Register - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

I’ll make another couple of points about smaller theatre productions: If the acoustics are well managed, and they are here, with every performer adroitly miked, words come through in a way that they often do not in larger houses with more reverberation and a boxier sound. I recall, for example, the trio of treble-voiced children—Small Alison and her brothers Christian (Reese Hewitt) and John (Christopher Patow)—singing their number “Come to the Fun Home” about coping with their squeamishness living in a mortuary. At the Ahmanson two years ago I could barely understand a word of it, but here, almost all of it came through loud and clear.

In an expansive house, especially in a big Broadway show on tour, casting tends to favor well-tempered, trained voices with broad commercial appeal. At Chance, the mature, middle-aged parents, the controlling Bruce and the long-suffering Helen Bechdel (Jennifer Richardson), are what I would call singing actors more than acting singers. Their showstopper numbers—“Days and Days” for Helen and “Edges of the World” for Bruce—are intense inner reflections on life failures that it turns out do not require the polished, soaring vocalism that Broadway demands. They can be equally effective on the small stage just a few feet away from you, with the audible scratch in the throat, the lyrics poignantly hovering between speech and song. Neither interpretation, big or small, is better or worse; they’re just different for distinct production styles.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Scaled down to intimate-theater perfection from the Broadway National Tour that played the 3000-seat Segerstrom Center a few years back, Chance Theater’s Fun Home is Orange County musical theater at its most powerful and transformative.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

Never am I disappointed when visiting the Chance Theater in Anaheim. This acclaimed resident theater boasts a parade of the best Los Angeles creatives and acting talent. In this instance, let me heartily recommend this thrilling, heartbreaking production. “Come to the Fun Home” without delay!

sweet - Bill Reese - Table to Stage - ...read full review


Avatar

The performances were excellent all around, and Ashlee Espinosa, who plays the adult version of Alison, was their anchor. I accepted her so completely as Bechdel that it was natural to accept the rest of the cast as the family of her memories and her true younger self. Holly Reichert, who plays the youngest version of Alison, deserves a special nod for how ably she carries a substantial amount of the show’s action and dialogue. It’s impossible to play favorites with this cast, though, as each actor has at least one moment in which they completely shine… as brightly as the carefully polished surfaces in the Bechdel home.

sweet - Leona Laurie - Geek Girl Authority - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Marya Mazor expertly builds the family’s mini-dramas toward their powerful resolution while artfully deploying the cast of nine (which includes two more incredible youngsters: Reese Hewitt and Christopher Patow) around Bradley Kaye’s spare yet encompassing set.

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

When I think of fun, I think of lighthearted, easy-going excitement, and this ironically named show is certainly not something I would consider fun. It is, however, a tear-jerking and spellbinding look into one woman’s innermost thoughts and memories.

sweet - Alina Mae Wilson - Orange Curtain Review - ...read full review


Jordan Young

Intimate theatrical experience is what the Chance does best, and this dysfunctional family drama and lesbian coming out story is a fine example—and a perfect choice as their 22nd season opener. Only a pair of geniuses such as Kron & Tesori could pull a rabbit out of a hat on Broadway with a piece of material like Bechdel’s memoir; the Chance is fortunate once more to have the services of Marya Mazor, a magician in the guise of a director who navigates the delicate balance with aplomb.

sweet - Jordan Young - JordanRYoung - ...read full review


Leo Buck

At turns haunting, enthralling, humorous, devastating—and well deserving of every award it has earned; love it or hate it, respect or reject it’s compelling message, this is some powerful theater and the new production at “The Chance” lives up to, and honors all of the musical’s many strengths and virtues.

sweet - Leo Buck - Bucking Trends - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

Fun Home tackles with devastating contrast the social realities facing gay Americans across generations. And while it’s by no means a complete reflection of the gay experience, the work’s personal, biographical truths reveal with brutal honesty how such social change can quite literally mean the taking of life or the giving of it. (The fun or the funeral.) In experiencing such a work, we allow queer voices to be heard from either side of fate reminding us of the power society wields in shaping our own destinies. So step inside. While it certainly doesn’t live up to the large-scale national tour that swept through the Ahmanson three years ago, even with its cracks, this lil’ Home’s worth a night’s visit.

sweet-sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Director Mazor admirably brings lucidity and dynamics to the complex mechanics of staging a bittersweet story that takes place in three time frames, embodied by three perfectly matched, first-rate actresses. Complementing the action perfectly is Lex Leigh’s music direction, sublimely pumping loads of adrenalin to your heart through Tesori’s grippingly haunting music as you watch the now and again happy, frequently revelatory, and at times, tragic lives unfold before you. Director Leigh is on keyboard in the piece, accompanied by Jimmy Beall on bass, Jorge Zuniga on drums. Isabella Pepke is cellist.

sweet - Chris Daniels - The Show Report - ...read full review


Avatar

More challenging than grim, plus often highly entertaining, this show about self-exploration is, in its execution, compelling and life-affirming.

sweet - Christopher Smith - OC Register - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

I’ll make another couple of points about smaller theatre productions: If the acoustics are well managed, and they are here, with every performer adroitly miked, words come through in a way that they often do not in larger houses with more reverberation and a boxier sound. I recall, for example, the trio of treble-voiced children—Small Alison and her brothers Christian (Reese Hewitt) and John (Christopher Patow)—singing their number “Come to the Fun Home” about coping with their squeamishness living in a mortuary. At the Ahmanson two years ago I could barely understand a word of it, but here, almost all of it came through loud and clear.

In an expansive house, especially in a big Broadway show on tour, casting tends to favor well-tempered, trained voices with broad commercial appeal. At Chance, the mature, middle-aged parents, the controlling Bruce and the long-suffering Helen Bechdel (Jennifer Richardson), are what I would call singing actors more than acting singers. Their showstopper numbers—“Days and Days” for Helen and “Edges of the World” for Bruce—are intense inner reflections on life failures that it turns out do not require the polished, soaring vocalism that Broadway demands. They can be equally effective on the small stage just a few feet away from you, with the audible scratch in the throat, the lyrics poignantly hovering between speech and song. Neither interpretation, big or small, is better or worse; they’re just different for distinct production styles.

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Scaled down to intimate-theater perfection from the Broadway National Tour that played the 3000-seat Segerstrom Center a few years back, Chance Theater’s Fun Home is Orange County musical theater at its most powerful and transformative.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review