Lisa Kron Talks FUN HOME Book Versus Musical & More
Behind the scenes of this year's Best Musical!
2015 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Fun Home took home not only the top prize but also awards for Best Score and Best Book Of A Musical and the woman behind the book and lyrics, Lisa Kron, opens up about the project in a new interview.
Kron says of adapting Alison Bechdel's graphic novel and her concept of 3 Alisons onstage, "I pretty immediately had the idea for the three Alisons. Nothing else was easy. Nothing. The making of Fun Home was painstaking - like nothing I've ever worked on before. Many people thought I would be a good match to adapt Alison's work because we both have been "out" lesbians in our work, but the similarities in our interests go deeper. We both like looking at the difference between a story and what actually happened. And we both have a tendency toward mythmaking, and then a stronger compulsion to take that myth apart and ask - why are we doing this, what's behind it?"
As for the benefit of musicalizing the story, Kron shares, "The emotion is further back in the book than it is in the musical. The music pulls the emotion forward. The reason that people read the book and buy it for everybody they know is that it is about the primal desire of a child to make physical contact with her father. That's why that's the first and last image in the book. Because we all understand that desire no matter who our parents are, the desire to have that physical contact. We knew that that was the thing that drove Alison. And then, you know, what happens is that her father doesn't give it to her - he makes her an artist. People who have an unresolved relationship with a parent often think: there must have been some moment of connection, some moment where we had it, and if I comb through my past I'm going to find that moment of connection, where he really saw who I am. And sometimes there is none. She finds that it wasn't there. This is what happens in the book. The book speeds up speeds up speeds up until the moment in the car when she realizes they never shared a connection. And she says, 'That was our Ithaca moment.'"
Furthermore, Kron adds, "The book is dripping with this heartbreaking elegiac tone. But that's not useful in a play because characters don't know what's going to come. So another one of our breakthrough moments in the writing came when we realized there was a time when Alison had viewed her coming out as a catalyst for her father's death. She says that in the book, and the book is predicated on her coming out as a catalyst. But in the theatrical version the thing that will break your heart is that when she comes out, she's not thinking about him at all. It's her life that is opening."
Check out the original article on the matter here.
Of note, in addition to Best Musical, Fun Home received Tony Awards for Best Actor In A Musical (Michael Cerveris), Best Score (Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron), Best Book Of A Musical (Lisa Kron) and Best Director Of A Musical (Sam Gold).
The official description of Fun Home is as follows: "Welcome to FUN HOME, the groundbreaking new musical that comes to Broadway after a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at the Public Theater. Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, FUN HOME features music by 4-time Tony Award® nominee Jeanine Tesori (Violet; Caroline, or Change), book and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron (Well) and direction by Sam Gold (Seminar), and stars Tony winner Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd) and three-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn (LES MISERABLES). FUN HOME introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories of her uniquely dysfunctional family - her mother, brothers and volatile, brilliant, enigmatic father - that connect with her in surprising new ways. This intimate and emotional theatrical experience is performed entirely in the round, bringing audiences closer to Alison's story than ever before."
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From This Author Pat Cerasaro