Tony Award Winning ‘Fun Home’ Takes On Family Secrets

Tony Award winning musical “Fun Home” runs from Jan. 11 to Jan. 22 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets & info go to the “Fun Home” page at denvercenter.org.

DENVER (CBS4) – So what is “Fun Home?” “Fun Home” is a Tony Award winning best musical that looks at a family in upheaval. It’s not a musical comedy so much as it’s a musical drama, with comic human moments. Yet it is about family, and in that it speaks to us all.

(credit DCPA) (credit DCPA)

“You feel filled up with your own life. That is the magic of what ‘Fun Home’ does, it brings you to yourself in your theater seat. The scene is about this, but the scene is about you,” said Beth Malone, who played the main character, “Alison”, on Broadway.

"Fun Home" (credit DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit DCPA)

Malone, a Colorado native, received a Tony nomination for her portrayal as Alison. She won’t be playing the role in the national tour when it hits Denver. But the actress replacing her, Kate Shindle, sees a rare power in the story of the show and its undercurrent of acceptance.

"Fun Home" (credit DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit DCPA)

“’Fun Home’ is first and foremost a story about a family that looks perfect from the outside. And it’s told through the recollections of adult Alison who’s trying to write a book about her childhood, and her upbringing, and her father.

And then she starts reliving her memories that are triggered by these different objects that she comes into contact with, and then triggered by each other… those memories. And she ends up getting pulled in a lot more deeply to the imperfections of her family and the things she’s never really dealt with since her father’s death,” Shindle told CBS4.

"Fun Home" (credit DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit DCPA)

“’Fun Home’ is all these things, it’s also entertaining, engrossing, and the kind of show that stays with you long after you leave the theater. It’s one to see,” said CBS4 Critic-at-Large Greg Moody.

Robert Petkoff amazed audiences in “Sweeney Todd” last year. Now, he’s about to do it again in another challenging musical, the Tony Award winning “Fun Home”.

"Fun Home" (credit: DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit: DCPA)

“She’s on a journey, our 43-year-old ‘Alison’, of trying to figure out some of the major events that happened in her life, and how that shaped her, how she became who she is. And she starts the play with the fundamental question, ‘Am I like you?’ meaning her father, ‘Am I just like you and where do I go from here at 43?’” For ‘Bruce’, his journey is rather complex. He’s a man who’s living in his life…the central theme of his life is just a big lie,” said Petkoff.

For Petkoff, “Fun Home” is a story that takes a family, it could be any family, and bring forward the secretes that bind it forever and destroy it completely.

"Fun Home" (credit: DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit: DCPA)

“He lives a life dedicated to redoing this house, restoring this old house and filling it with beautiful things, almost as a substitute from all of the emotions and the feelings that he can’t allow himself to engage in,” Petkoff explained.

The show does that in a powerful musical way.

“Rich, human, and touching, ‘Fun Home’ challenges the audience to reach beyond its comfort zone with musicals, in order to find a new way to tell the story. It captured me completely,” said CBS4’s Critic-at-Large Greg Moody.

You’ve got to admit, it’s a strange character name, “Middle Alison”, but actress Abby Corrigan makes the most of it.

"Fun Home" (credit DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit DCPA)

“It’s so human that things are happening right then, like these events are just happening. It’s not like the story is planned out and she knows what she wants to do, she knows, ‘Oh, this is where my life is going to go’, because she has no idea. And I think that’s what keeps audience members on their seats waiting, they’re watching, they’re eavesdropping into this world,” Corrigan told CBS4.

Corrigan is a new face to the Broadway tour ranks. She’s a winner of many prestigious awards back in her home state. She knew she had to take the chance on New York.

"Fun Home" (credit: DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit: DCPA)

“I realized if you work really, really, really hard, you can do anything and I never had a plan B. And I think that’s part of the reason why, one of the many reasons why, I succeed at what I really love to do because I am committed to being an actor,” Corrigan explained.

"Fun Home" (credit: DCPA) “Fun Home” (credit: DCPA)

She’s bright, energetic, and brings a delightful exuberance to this role of “Middle Alison”, a young woman discovering who she is in a world that’s both frightening and exciting. It’s one of those roles, one of those performers you want to see again.

“It’s a show I did not know, and it’s a show I want to know more about,” said CBS4 Critic-at-Large Greg Moody.

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