Michael Cerveris Tells How He Got The Idea To Bring FUN HOME To Orlando
As reported by BroadwayWorld, FUN HOME, the groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning Best Musical, will play a one-night-only benefit concert performance at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (445 S Magnolia Ave) in Orlando on their night off, Sunday, July 24th. The performance will be a concert version of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical to raise money for Equality Florida and the LGBTQ community of Orlando.
Like most other Broadway productions, the cast of Fun Home had a matinee to perform on June 12th, after learning of the previous evening's shooting at Orlando's Pulse, a gay nightclub, that left 49 dead and least 53 injured.
"I was onstage, literally in the middle of the show," the musical's leading man Michael Cerveris tells the Orlando Sentinel. "I heard this voice in my head saying 'We should go to Orlando.' It didn't seem like an odd thing to think. It was like, 'Of course.'"
The cast was in full agreement and an email was sent to the producers.
"When Michael brought this idea to us, we immediately sprang into action," producers Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson and Barbara Whitman said in a statement. "As the first musical with a lesbian protagonist, we so often hear from Audience members at Fun Home that it was the first time they saw themselves represented on a Broadway stage. We all feel so helpless, but hopefully this will allow us to give back to the LGBT community in this tiny way."
Cerveris was awarded the Best Actor in a Musical Tony for playing Bruce Bechdel, the closeted gay father of Alison Bechdel, whose graphic memoir inspired the musical.
"It's obviously not going to specifically address what happened in Orlando," says Cerveris. "But it talks obliquely about the issues that drive such feelings. The anger that Bruce directs at himself is a different version of the fear and anger that others direct outward."
Cerveris will be joined in Orlando by all eight of his current cast-mates, including four-time Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn, 2015 Tony Award nominees Beth Malone, and Emily Skeggs, Gabriella Pizzolo, Roberta Colindrez, Cole Grey, Zell Steele Morrow, and Joel Perez. The show's Tony Award-winning creators Lisa Kron (book & lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (music) and Sam Gold (direction) will be in attendance.
100% of the net proceeds of this benefit performance will support the future work of Equality Florida, and the victims of the horrific Pulse shooting. Half of the money raised will be distributed directly to victims and their families, and half will support Equality Florida's work to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fun Home is able to fly down to Orlando for this benefit performance thanks to the generosity of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the producers and co-producers of Fun Home, and the Wyndham Orlando.
For more information and to purchase tickets for this 7:00PM performance, visit www.drphillipscenter.org.
Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home features music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kronand direction by Sam Gold, whose work on this production earned them Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction.
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. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
Fun Home will play its final performance on Broadway on September 10, 2016, after more than 600 performances. The coast-to-coast North American Tour of Fun Home will launch in Cleveland, OH in October 2016, and play more than 40 cities in its first year, including Chicago, St. Louis, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and many more.
Fun Home is produced on Broadway by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson) and Barbara Whitman, along with Carole Shorenstein Hays, Tom Casserly, Paula Marie Black,Latitude Link, Terry Schnuck/Jack Lane, The Forstalls, Nathan Vernon, Mint Theatricals,Elizabeth Armstrong, JAM Theatricals and Delman Whitney.
For more information and for updated tour cities, please visit www.funhomebroadway.com.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski