Posts Tagged ‘Tony awards’

Fun Home

My wife and I saw Fun Home at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady back in November, and it was revelatory.

It’s about a girl named Alison, played at three points in her life, by three different actors. Small Alison lives in a funeral home with her brothers, making up would-be commercials for the facility. Her father Bruce is a professor but also the funeral director. Helen, his wife, tries to keep the house up to his exacting standards or retreats to playing the piano.

Medium Alison goes away to college, realizes she is a lesbian but is not eager to share this news with her father. She sings my favorite song from the show, “Changing My Major,” a paean to her girlfriend Joan. The adult Alison ruminates on all of this, including the death of her father shortly after she came out; is there a connection between the two events? Sometimes, there are two or even three Alisons on stage simultaneously.

The musical was adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir. It is not at all a linear telling but bounces back and forth in time, yet it works.

I’ve had the cast album for well over a year, so I knew the songs. “Ring of Keys” by Small Alison & Alison is another favorite. But “Days and Days,” sung by Helen near the end of the production, was particularly moving in the show I saw.

Considering that the show won the 2015 Best Musical Tony for Best Musical in 2015 and other awards, I was slightly surprised how many people are unfamiliar with the story. Then again, I actually WATCH the Tonys.

Not only that, one of my colleagues had a relative who played one of Small Alison’s brothers, so she’d seen the show on Broadway. She’s also seen a couple other productions and shared with me the fact that the show can be performed “in the round” or on a traditional stage.

It’s an odd thing getting a subscription for Sundays when the shows only run six days, starting on Tuesdays. I see the last show before it leaves town, and can’t say, “Go see it!” And in the case of Fun Home, I’ve discovered that the touring company ended its run on December 3.

This means that perhaps some local theater company in your area will be doing a production. I imagine it will be worthwhile.

Rebecca Jade, Sheila E., Lynn Mabry

Three new discoveries in a month rock our African origins

THE ARCTIC DOOMSDAY SEED VAULT FLOODED. THANKS, GLOBAL WARMING

Left-lean faith leaders are hungry to break the right’s grip on setting the nation’s moral agenda

Amy Biancolli: I yam what I yam by the grace of God

Social Capital and Inequality

Time for equal media treatment of ‘political correctness’

The toddler defense

American Ex-Pats Explain Why They Quit America

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brexit II

Dustbury has discovered not everyone he’s likely to meet is prepared to deal with someone who walks only with a bunch of equipment

The Short, Sad Tale of Allyn King of Albany

Arthur is 15 Years a Kiwi citizen

Baby boomers are downsizing — and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms

The Negro Motorist Green Book, which I wrote about here. Check out
the 1949 edition

The art of writing an obituary

An Interview With Author Kelly Sedinger

She returned from Iraq to a broken family. Then writing changed her life

Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing

Anita Pallenberg Passes Away at Age 73

In appreciation of an old-school journalist, the late Dan Lynch

HEATHER FAZIO: I spent two days with Dennis Rodman

The Tony Awards — rehearsals

Documentary producer Robert Weide interviewed Woody Allen live on Facebook

Gary Burghoff explains Radar

Bill Messner-Loebs and Jack Kirby to Receive 2017 Bill Finger Award

Night Court was the black sheep of NBC’s sitcom dynasty

Pete and Harry, two rabbits in commercials for Carnation Milk. I DO NOT remember this

Too Many People Still Think Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

Now I Know: Fighting North Korea in a Flash and The Counterfeit Money Which is Intentionally Worthless and The Green Versus the Eardrums and Why Mattresses Come With Warning Tags and There’s No Place Like 0,0

Adam West, star of the ‘Batman’ TV series, dies at 88. Here’s his Idaho phone listing. Some insights from Mark Evanier and reflections by Chuck Miller, plus Eddie’s elegy and Rob Hoffman calling him one of “most accomplished and revered ‘B’ level actors of all time”

MUSIC

The Absolute Authenticity of REBECCA JADE (niece #1) and CD REVIEW – PETER SPRAGUE & REBECCA JADE: Planet Cole Porter, available here. Recently, Rebecca has sung at least twice with percussionist Sheila E. and singer Lynn Mabry. Lynn, among many other things, sang backup on the Stop Making Sense tour, which I saw at SPAC in 1984

Coverville: Sgt.Pepper 50th anniversary plus Gregg Allman tribute and All 213 Beatles Songs, Ranked From Worst to Bestand The Final Beatles Concert

What is Life – Weird Al

K-Chuck Radio: The Mystery of Blueberry Hill

Bohemian Rhapsody – Vika Yermolyeva

Pieces about Bobby Vee and Brian Hyland, both apparently inspired by me

Wap Bap, the most hated song on YouTube

Song of the Volga Boatmen sung by the Red Army Chorus

Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens

Billy Joel on Self-Doubt and Finally Becoming Cool

Helen-Mirren-The-Audience-on-Broadway-largeOur local cinema of choice, The Spectrum, did something different for them; they showed a series of recorded plays from National Theatre Live!, the “groundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theatre live from the London stage to cinemas across the UK and around the world.”

It IS essentially a filmed play, but because of the camerawork, and perhaps the unseen audience, it felt more like being AT a play than merely watching one on screen. “National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 Read the rest of this entry »

helen-mirrenIn June 2015, Dame Helen Lydia Mirren won the Tony award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. Here is her acceptance speech.

I had forgotten that she had been nominated for Tonys twice before. In her win for The Audience, she portrayed Queen Elizabeth II. Playing the same personage, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2006 in The Queen. Read the rest of this entry »

waltz in
When You Kill Ten Million Africans and You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’ – King Leopold II of Belgium, who “owned” the Congo.

The Dannemora Dilemma. “‘Little Siberia’ turned out to be the prison’s nickname.”

The Weekly Sift addresses the Duggars’ brand of fundamentalist Christianity, and other stuff. Plus What’s So Scary About Caitlyn Jenner?

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet and The Crystal Ball‘s 2016 Electoral College ratings. I have NO idea who the Republican candidate for President will be. Read the rest of this entry »

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