BWW Interview: Robert Petkoff of FUN HOME at Wharton Center For The Performing Arts - It's a Once in a Lifetime Experience!
Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Fun Home is based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir that tells that story of her life at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. "She looks at memories of her life growing up in this family of hers, particularly memories of her father with whom she had kind of a difficult relationship and throughout the evening she is trying to get the answer why. Why he did what he did and how it affected her life," said Petkoff. "What makes this show so unique and moving for people is at its heart it is a very human story about a family and everyone has one. Even if they don't relate to Alison, they relate to the story of her experience within her family. We all have a family. We all have difficult moments with our family. We all have joyful moments with our family. And this play is very, very honest dealing with that. That not every family is the Brady Bunch. Problems aren't solved in 30 minutes with a stern talking to and then a happy smile. That relationships are much more complex that. What's really unique is that right off the bat in the opening number, Alison says, 'my father killed himself'. It's not a mystery play by any stretch of the imagination. What ends of happening is the rest of the evening you spend learning why. Why would he do that, which is the question she is trying to get to."
Being in Fun Home and playing the role of Bruce Bechdel, Alison's father, every night, Petkoff considers to be the most rewarding musical he has ever done, even though he has worked in theatre for most of his life. He describes the role as an extraordinary complex character that gives an actor a real challenge to try to bring it to life as honestly as possible every night. "Bruce is psychologically very hard work, but it's the kind of role that actor's love to play," he said.
"Fun Home is a unique theatre experience," said Petkoff. "I think you can't help but be moved by the time you leave the theatre."
Fun Home arrives at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts on June 6th in East Lansing. For more information or tickets, visit www.whartoncenter.com.