Fun Home

Sometimes life just dishes up the most amazing surprises. Take this week, for instance. I no sooner leave my Carnegie Hall performance on Sunday, but I learn that friends from Portland (Oregon) are in town visiting two of whom I am sure are some of the best school teachers (and their amazing spouses) in the city. I am sure of that because they are some of the best people I have ever met. But I digress. Very long story short, I end up being gifted with a ticket to see the Broadway musical, Fun Home, at Circle in the Square. Not only that, but it is nearly Pride Weekend in Manhattan and in solidarity with all of my fellow New Yorkers, I feel that this is where I should be. We all may have different lovers, but we all love. It’s so important to remember that. But I digress again. Fun Home, if you have not yet seen it, is one of the most touching and emotionally challenging musicals I have ever seen. The acting and singing is incredible. Based on an autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechtel, it is performed without an intermission, and for good reason. The psychological tension builds and builds as you sit — nearly in the living room of this dysfunctional Pennsylvania family (it is a theater in the round) — and squirm as family secrets are tragically and devastatingly divulged. But wait: not all is tragic. Whereas some family members’ lives painfully — and even fatally — contract, another’s expands. Bravely. Joyfully. Poignantly. And that, in my mind, is what this play is ultimately about: the privilege and courage to be exactly who you are, where you are. No matter what the circumstances. No matter where you live. No matter who you love. Period. Be proud of who you are. Life is short. Live it however your heart dictates. All of you. (End of sermon.)

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