Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe

Fun Home
Musical Theatre Southwest
Review by Carole C. Sullivan

Also see Carole's review of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot

Devyn Bradbury, Amy Carter
and Rose Marley Meizlesh

Photo by Jason Ponic
Fun Home, a Tony Award-winner for Best Musical and based on the 2006 graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, tells the story of a woman's quest to better understand her late father, and herself. The musical had is premiere at Off-Broadway's Public Theater in 2013 after extensive workshops at several prestige venues.

Years after the unexpected death of her father, Alison, now an adult graphic novelist, dives deep into her memories to explore her upbringing, family secrets, and sexual development in an attempt to better understand both her father's path and her own. Fun Home exposes the tragic beauty of closeted homosexuality.

Musical Theatre Southwest has assembled an outstanding cast and production team to bring this musical to life. Under the direction of Brandon P. McDaniel and the musical direction of William W. Williams, the 90-minute production is presented without intermission. In a series of fast-paced scenes we travel back and forth in time and examine important events and moments in Alison's development.

The score's sixteen songs by composer Jeanine Tesori with lyrics by Lisa Kron beautifully illuminate the emotions of the characters. A variety of musical styles are employed, and the six-piece orchestra, hidden in the rafters of the black box space, is excellent. The cast handles the rigors of the music well.

The acting is exemplary by the entire cast, but mention should be made of the three women who play Alison at different ages. Amy Carter anchors the production with quiet charm and grace as the adult Alison. Devyn Bradbury as Small Alison and Rose Marley Meizlesh as Medium Alison are age appropriate in their portrayals of these young women. Devon Griste is heartbreaking as as Helen Bechdel, the wife of a closeted gay man.

This musical has aged well over the last ten years and remains a thoughtful examination of the LGBTQ lifestyle and history. Musical Theatre Southwest is presenting a respectful and thought-provoking production of Fun Home.

Fun Home runs through June 19, 2022, at 6320-B Domingo NE, Albuquerque NM. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $23. For tickets and information, please visit or call 505-265-9119.

Directed by Brandon P. McDaniel, Music Director William W. Williams. Cast: Amy Carter, Devyn Bradbury, Colin Burdge, Devon Griste, Rose Marley Meizlesh, Nick Barker, Ayden King Garcia, Meredith Williamson and Robert Matthew.