Tag Archives: life story

All in the family

Turns out you can’t judge a musical by its poster.

Fun-Home-1

The only thing I knew about the Broadway show Fun Home before I saw it last night was a) the critics loved it and b) the Tony voters did, too.

It scored 12 nominations earlier this week.

I didn’t know the soundtrack or the book upon which it was based. I walked in the theatre about as clueless as a person could get.

So imagine my surprise when the show wasn’t the singing, dancing Partridge Family parody that I had cooked up in my head.

If you too are in the dark (and wish to remain so), stop reading now.

Have they left?  Okay.  So the rest of you know why my mind is a bit blown right now.

The musical’s narrator is a lesbian cartoonist. (Yeah, this show’s no Cinderella.) With the help of her very young self and college-aged self — two incredible young performers — she tells her life story.  With captions.

(‘Cause she’s a cartoonist.)

Fun-Home-2How her father was a part-time teacher and part-time funeral director — FUN HOME was the family nickname for the funeral home — and a closeted gay man who slept with lots of boys and committed suicide while she was away at college.

Yeah.

But that’s not to say there weren’t moments of humor and laughter.  Her first girl-on-girl experience in college inspired “Changing My Major to Joan,” one of my favorite songs in the show. And the kids did do a little Partridge Family at one point, so the graphic designer gets to keep his job.

The cast is all-around amazing. I do wish I had seen the show off-Broadway before they were plopped down into this in-the-round venue. It has led to a lot of ‘singing to the audience’ staging that seems amateurish for a story of such complexity.

It is quite a ride.

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Famous last words

In my college journalism class, our first assignment was to write our own obituary.

Most students in the class played it safe and wrote rather mundane re-tellings of their life accomplishments. When the instructor gave them back, he chastised us for our lack of imagination.  In our defense, it was the first assignment.

Who knew the guy had a sense of humor?

Well, he would have loved Michael “Flathead” Blanchard. His recent paid obit in the Denver Post was written with extreme entertainment value.  It includes lines like…

Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died.

It makes me sad that I didn’t meet Mike before he died.  The wake sounds like it will be fun, too:

He asks that you stop by and re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. As the celebration will contain adult material, we respectfully ask that no children under 18 attend.

Atta boy, Mike.