Fun Home at Playhouse on the Square 

To borrow a line of inquiry from the postmodern author John Barth, "For whom is the Fun Home fun?" Not for its unhappy residents, certainly. Not for lovers. Except for those few, golden, giggly moments when everything's perfect.

There are moments of humor in Alison Bechdel's groundbreaking graphic memoir Fun Home, an intimate, wise account of growing up gay in a troubled family. They are fleeting, however, and laced with pathos. Her biographical accounts tested the limits of comic book storytelling, just as the musical incarnation of her novel, currently on stage at Playhouse on the Square, dispenses with every trace of Broadway razzle dazzle, trading instead on fuzzy memory and fresh emotion.

click to enlarge werecbox_funhome.jpg

Although it's told from Bechdel's viewpoint, Fun Home revolves around her dad Bruce, an English teacher, a funeral home director, and a deeply repressed gay man whose struggles have left him twisted, full of rage, and, between outbursts, as generous and loving as he knows how to be.

"Speaking as someone who lost a parent recently, I think this show is full of searching to define that parent's influence on you," says regional stage veteran Stephen Huff, who returned to Memphis from his new home in Tampa, Florida, to play Bruce. "What the script and score does so brilliantly is show this fragmented self that's searching for some kind of wholeness in those initial relationships with her parents," he says. "At the end of the show, you finally have the three of the Allisons together singing in unison and harmony. It's this self-integration that's so gorgeous and fulfilling.

"I couldn't pass this up," Huff says answering the opening question. "I saw the [Tony-winning] Broadway production. When Playhouse mentioned that they wanted me for it, I was all-in."

Related Events

  • Fun Home @ Playhouse on the Square

    • Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through May 27 $25-$45
    • Buy Tickets

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.




Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment



Hungry Memphis

Pete & Sam's returns!

We Saw You

When it rains, keep pouring the BBQ sauce

Politics Beat Blog

Keeping Score in Strickland's Tent at the Barbecue Fest

Music Blog

Quintron Brings Weather Warlock to Bar DKDC

Intermission Impossible

Love! Valour! Compassion!— Remembering Memphis actor David Foster

Intermission Impossible

Drama Club: Reviews of Othello, Annapurna, and Fun Home


More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation