Fun Home | Victory Gardens Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

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When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 19 2017

After incarnations on Broadway and in a touring production that stopped here last year, the musical based on Alison Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel gets a locally sourced staging under the expert direction of Gary Griffin. Chances are you know the gist: A cartoonist named Alison looks back on her life from childhood to college—years when she vaguely (and then suddenly) realized she was gay while her closeted dad, Bruce, found it less and less possible to square his own sexuality with his life. Lisa Kron's language and Jeanine Tesori's music make this confluence of destinies at once awful and expansive, as it should be. The show's multiple Alisons (Danni Smith as the grown one, Hannah Starr as the Oberlin student, and Stella Rose Hoyt and Sage Elliott Harper alternating as the child) are engaging, and Rob Lindley is effective if sometimes too obvious as he moves Bruce from petulance to tragedy. But the real coming out, oddly enough, belongs the seemingly peripheral mom, Helen. In a single song, McKinley Carter establishes Helen's suffering and forbearance beyond all doubt. —Tony Adler

Price: $15-$75

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