Ame Livingston as cartoonist Alison Bechdel, whose 2006 graphic memoir “Fun Home” was adapted into the Tony Award winning musical. Photo by Niko Stamos.
By GEORGETTE SPELVIN
YOU come away from the Titusville Playhouse’s production of “Fun Home” with quite a lot.
YOU realize that you’ve seen quite a well-written and reasonably fast-paced play not given to an overabundance of weighty philosophy or beating around the bush, subject-wise.
YOU have seen a set that is striking in its simplicity, perfect for the play.
YOU have heard music by Jeanine Tesori with lyrics by Lisa Kron that may be tortured or may be comic but never is boring.
YOU find yourself asking “Who cares?” about the fact that the play is partially about the lead character finding herself as a lesbian, and that her father is closeted. The play is not about sex lives, it’s about people; a family.
YOU will find yourself repeating words like “perfect” “flawless” and “extraordinary” because they do apply to the actors here, particularly those who portrayed Alison at various stages of her life.YOU will remember the voice of Melissa Minyard, who portrayed the wife and mother in denial, always, because in expression, in tone, in clarity, it was perfect.
YOU will look for Autumn Rae Shannon in plays to come, in years to come, because, as Small Alison, she proved she is going places. This is a brilliant young actress; a child who definitely is not childish.
YOU will look for Ame Livingston, who played Alison the adult, the narrator, with magnificent, professional understatement. Anyone thinks Disney doesn’t hire first-class actors hasn’t seen Livingston. Please return to the Emma Parrish stage in the future, Ame.
YOU revisit the performance of Delaney McGough time after time in useless search of description. “Riveting” is good.” So is “bravura.” You think, “How many times have we seen this young woman and why did we not notice?” We do now.
YOU are crushed that Alexander Nathan Kanter, who has done so much for Titusville as teacher, actor and director, will return to New Jersey. At the same time, you are elated that he should go out as he has, with a wonderful performance as the tormented, martinet husband and father; a liar, yet not hateable.
YOU recognize that you can’t write reams about Titusville Playhouse’s “Fun Home” because the play does the talking.
YOU feel your esteem for Steven J. Heron, which you thought high as possible, skyrocketing. He took a risk with “Fun Home,” as he did last season with “Next to Normal.” Again, he triumphed.
YOU repeat to yourself, “This is what drama can be in Brevard County, Florida. This is what our people are capable of. This. Is Great. Theater.”
SIDE O’ GRITS: FUN HOME runs through June 4 at Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia St., Titusville. Tickets are $23 to $29 but are only available through May 27 since the final weekend is sold out. Call 321-268-1125 or visit TitusvillePlayhouse.com.
Read more about the production by clicking here.