Media Seasons

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Broadway Shows category.

Life’s Complicated: Rounding Characters via Retellings

For months, my book discussion group buddies and I have had tickets to go see Fun Home, a Broadway Musical.  Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is not the first graphic novel we have explored in its various groundbreaking media forms, as we read and watched Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis soon after the movie was released.

Personal events in my extended family changed those Big Apple trip plans for me today.  Somehow, that mix of unexpectedness with the planned seems fitting for this scenario.  What I realized is that because I have been listening to the soundtrack with music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics by Lisa Kron, I already have experienced growing the characters in my mind via this  second media form and the power of music to portray a storyline.

What child cannot relate to the desire of having a parent allow them to fly in the game of “I wanna play airplane” exulted in the opening “It All Comes Back”?  Alison and her father Bruce’s brief duet lyrics exclaim the same:

“I want to know what’s true

Dig deep into who

And what and why and when

Until now gives way to then.”

Their search for truth appears almost like the criss cross trails of jet airplanes left behind in the blue sky that never truly touch as they follow their own trajectories, yet their chosen family dynamics never allow this particular parent and child more than the briefest snippets of understanding one another until it is too late.  In the end, we all have common needs to be understood.

I hope the poignant dynamics of Bechdel’s characters will reach out to many audiences, whether it be through her book or the retellings in music and on stage.