Fun Home: Broadway’s queer benchmark?

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The widespread success of the Tony award-winning musical Fun Home is bringing up a discussion in the queer community about what happens when art and performance, first seen in the realm of the community, goes mainstream. 

At least, the discussion is beginning. BuzzFeed’s Shannon Keating believes that the acceptance and the bevy of award bestowed on the musical somehow cheapens the experience. Still, first and foremost, Keating praises the musical
about Alison Bechdel, a lesbian cartoonist in the midst of creating her graphic memoir while examining her relationship with her gay father, as one that showcases identities that don’t receive much time on the Broadway stage.

As she put it, “As everyone crowding inside the theater listened with alternately swelling and breaking hearts all around me, their reactions affirmed that more and more creative decision-makers will continue greenlighting queer stories for the mainstream, because (obviously, banally, radically) queers are relatable, too.”

Not exactly a realization on par with the big bang theory, but one that many people in the queer community face when contemplating how their identities fit into mainstream culture, and how they are represented within that culture.

Keating does realize her own limitations, though, which is part of the story’s message. She writes, “While sorting through my own messy wants, I’m trying to convince myself that straight people loving queer cultural touchstones like Fun Home doesn’t mean I’m forced to love them any less.”

Fun Home is currently playing at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York.

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