Tag Archives: Fun Home – A Family Tragicomic

Gay On Broadway: The Best Queer and Genderqueer Characters

Broadway is gay. Correction: many Broadway actors are gay, but the stories they tell are decidedly heterosexual.

This is changing, slowly. To celebrate the 2016-2017 Broadway season, let’s look at some of the best – and most unconventional – queer characters to grace the Great White Way.

By “queer,” I’m referring to lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters; genderqueer and genderfluid characters; and pansexual polyamorous couples. I would love to include asexuals on this list, but I have yet to find AroAce: The Musical. #AsexualRepresentationMatters

Maureen and Joanne from RENT


Maureen and Joanne are everyone’s favorite lesbian couple. By favorite, I mean that they’re awful for each other, but that’s what makes them so perfect.

If you haven’t witnessed their rollercoaster love story, start with The Tango Maureen, and try not to cry about that one girl you fell in love with even though she was bad for you and cheated on you but you loved her anyway because she was just so addictive. Then watch Take Me or Leave Me, remember that you’re still in love with that girl, and call her six times.

Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia from Falsettos


The AIDS epidemic provides a bleak backdrop for Falsettos. Fortunately, the audience gets to spend time with the adorable lesbian couple Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, who offer the gay protagonist friendship, hope and sweeping high notes in Unlikely Lovers.

Alison Bechdel from Fun Home


Alison Bechdel is annoying. At least, she is in Fun Home. Her character is overly introspective, a bit neurotic, and not particularly likable.

Then again, most of us are, and that’s why Alison Bechdel is high up this list: Songs like “I’m Changing My Major (to Sex with Joan),” which explores sex, heartbreak and lesbian puberty in college, are painfully relatable. I triple-majored.

Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Hedwig is the queer character to end all queer characters. Or, the queer character to begin all queer characters, since Hedwig inspired many of Broadways’s more genderbent personalities.

Hedwig will have you laughing so hard that you forget you’re watching the tragic tale of a person who was mutilated, exploited, abandoned and essentially left for dead. The music’s good, though. Plus, you will get to see mouth-watering Rebecca Naomi Jones play a genderqueer Eastern European man named Yitzhak, which is yum-mee.


The Entire Cast of Passing Strange


We just had sex, sing the main characters of this avante-garde Black punk European acid trip of a musical. And by main characters, I mean five people. Yes, Amsterdam is apparently all about cigarettes, philosophy and five-somes in grimy apartments.

This musical is full of amazing lines, but one of the best is: “I’m a philosophy professor and part-time sex worker. You could say I hook, therefore I am.”

Plus, you get to watch Rebecca Naomi Jones have five-way sex in leather pants. Have I mentioned: Delish?

Honorable Mention:

John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton


I’m not saying John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton were definitely gay. But I’m saying that history says that they definitely might have been gay.

And you can read fanfiction of it.

Smash-Hit Lesbian Musical ‘Fun Home’ Wins Big at Tony Awards (Video & Pics)

Fun Home, the smash-hit Broadway musical based on lesbian author Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel, took home five awards at the 69th Annual Tony Awards last night.

The show not only won the award for Best Musical, but also saw Tonys handed out to Michael Cerveris for Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical for director Sam Gold.


The show is based on the best-selling memoir by graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, who is openly lesbian, whose father was closeted and ran the family funeral home.

Lisa Kron, who was interviewed in HRC’s Equality magazine, said.

This is extremely deep work. We have put our heart and souls into it. We had no idea whether the show would fly or not… [Fun Home] not just on a lesbian protagonist, but it’s a butch lesbian protagonist … one of the most invisible creatures in the cultural world.”

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Broadway To Have its First Ever Lesbian Lead Character Next Month

Broadway is to have its first ever lesbian lead character from next month.

Award-winning musical Fun Home, about family, sexuality and acceptance will open at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19, following an extended run off-Broadway.

The musical is based on the graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. The coming-of-age musical revolves around Bechdel’s dysfunctional family and relationship with her late father, who as a closeted gay man who ran a funeral home and taught English in rural Pennsylvania.

The musical, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama, begins previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19 after a sold-out, extended run Off Broadway.

Also: Book Review | Fun Home – A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Director Sam Gold told Reuters:

“It is the first lesbian lead character in the history of musical theater and that is a story that needs to be told. It feels like a very good time in our culture to give voice to that character.”

Tony nominee Lisa Kron has adapted the book and provided lyrics to Jeanine Tesori’s music.

The non-linear play will star three actresses as Bechdel. Beth Malone will play the adult version, while Emily Skeggs and Sydney Lucas will play younger versions.

“All of these things are swirling around Fun Home as we tell the story of the detrimental cost of shame, and that is ultimately what this is about, and the redemption that comes from forgiveness and living in truth.”

Beth Malone

Tony winner Michael Cerveris will play father Bruce Bechdel.

“I think people are able to identify with the struggles of these characters, the aspects of being a family. They are not focusing solely on Alison’s or Bruce’s sexual orientation.”

Michael Cerveris

Book Review | Fun Home – A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Asterix and Dr Zeuss bring a flood of colour and humour when I recall the little girl happily reading in the book corner of the schoolroom. Yet perhaps without realising I’d packed away the comics and cartoons along with my childhood, that is until I discovered Fun Home – A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, and graphic storytelling at its best. If I had any reservations about picking up a graphic novel, they were soon to dissipate. After stepping into Bechdel’s life in pictures, the outside world became quiet until the final page.

Fun Home is Bechdel’s memoir chronicling her life from childhood to early adulthood. A coming of age story, it explores the fraught and complex relationship with her father and the discovery of her sexuality in an increasingly bizarre and dysfunctional home. Bruce Bechdel, Alison’s father is an English teacher and director of the local funeral home of which “Fun Home” became the grimly comic reference used by the family. A distant and exacting man, he channels his perfectionism into the frenetic restoration of the large, Gothic-revival house they live in. The dark humour of “Fun Home” sets the tone as Bechdel intricately weaves us through her story of growing up, coming out as a lesbian amidst the confusing and odd situation of her fathers revelation of his own homosexuality. This all wrapped up in the turmoil of her father shortly afterwards being killed by an oncoming truck.

Bechdel gives us a forceful and unexpectedly personal history crossing the emotional gamut of melancholy, humour, grief and the search for happiness. The use of Daedalean and other literary allusion runs throughout the book giving the text richness and depth, elevated by the wonderful pen and ink wash drawings. The construct of the book is made up of just under 1000 panels in a familiar comic format. A stranger to the graphic novel, I found Bechdels illustrations completely absorbing, refreshing and poignant.


What interests me most after reading this book is the delicate balance it achieves with its easy flowing pace and wit transported by the element of cartoon, while tackling the deeper questions in life we are all faced with. More than once I saw myself within the illustrations and this provokes an added sense of awareness I haven’t come across before. The more I think about this book the more impressed I am. Provocative, clever yet touchingly honest, Bechdel’s early life is firmly etched in my memory.

For those less familiar with Alison Bechdel, she is an American cartoonist and author, initially known for her long running comic strip called ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’. Fun Home was her first critical and commercial success. This book ran on The New York Times best seller list for two weeks and was subsequently adapted as a musical. A later notable work is ‘Are You My Mother’ and she is the recipient of the 2014 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award.