A group of freshmen at Duke University is boycotting a critically acclaimed book assigned for summer reading because of its gay-themed content. The book in question is Alison Bechdel's illustrated memoir Fun Home--which has recently been made into a Tony Award-winning musical. The memoir follows Bechdel's relationship with her closeted gay father, who committed suicide after the then-19-year-old author came out to her parents as a lesbian. It's a tough story to read, no doubt, but it's a reality that many LGBT people face.
Broadway to many means big dance numbers and actors hurtling outsized emotions into the rafters. While there are certainly plenty of tiresome revivals and knockoffs alike that make an all too vivid case for this, there are also bold producers remaking the landscape of commercial theater with subversive, challenging and deeply moving musicals and plays.
Seekers of provocative, invigorating and entertaining theatre--musical or dramatic--will find it at Circle in the Square. To those who think that Fun Home doesn't sound like their sort of entertainment: this is musical theatre at its best, so go anyway. You're likely to be surprised, and thrilled, and enthralled.