Written by 4:06 am Anaheim, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized

Fun Home @ Chance Theater – Review

(All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio)

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Fun Home is currently playing at the Chance Theater in Anaheim. This musical is not without critical acclaim, taking home five Tony Awards (including Best Musical and Best Original Score) when it was on Broadway in 2015. Contrary to the title, Fun Home is not very “fun.”   When I think of fun, I think of lighthearted, easy-going excitement, and this ironically named show is certainly not something I would consider fun. It is, however, a tear-jerking and spellbinding look into one woman’s innermost thoughts and memories.

“Fun Home” is the story of self-described lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel and her relationship with her intellectually driven and self-conscious father. Throughout the story, we see Alison reflect on her past with her father, his sometimes odd behavior, and the high expectations he held for himself and his family.

One of the best aspects of this show is the frequent jumping back and forth between Alison’s present and past. We see her as a young child, a new college student, and an adult trying hard to understand her dad. A different actress plays Alison at each stage of life: Ashlee Espinosa (Alison Bechdel), Madelyn Velazquez (Medium Alison), and Holly Reichert (Small Alison). To casting’s credit, I never doubted these three were the same person for a moment. 

Each actress possessed strong enough acting chops to pull off a “connected” energy, and there was no “weakest link.”  

The general tone of the story is one of tenderness and reflection. Espinosa imbues Alison Bechdel with the right amount of sensitivity. She makes you genuinely want her to find the answer she seeks in her personal questions to her dad. Speaking of the man himself, it would be wrong not to mention Ron Hasting’s (Bruce Bechdel) strong performance. His chemistry is proficient not just with the “Alison’s” but with all of the other actors on stage as well. Jennifer Richardson (Helen Bechdel) knocks it out of the park with her rendition of “Days and Days.”  The acting is excellent in general, and everyone’s vocals are without flaw.

Exceptional Show!
9 Overall
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