Currently onstage at Ephrata Performing Arts Center is Fun Home. This musical is a coming of age story from the perspective of a young woman who is discovering her own sexuality as well as examining her relationship with her father. The production at EPAC is full of moving performances and it is a powerful musical. If you have not seen this show yet, the production at EPAC is incredibly well done and a reminder that this theatre does a wonderful job with important and compelling shows.
Fun Home is based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. The musical tells the story of an eccentric and troubled family. The show chronicles the lead character, Allison’s, story along with a huge emphasis on her relationship with her father. The story although based on the graphic novel seems to also draw on how she was inspired to write her novel, Fun Home. Under the direction of Edward R. Fernandez, this production of Fun Home is staged brilliantly. The way the story is told it is like the audience has a window into the lives and emotions of the characters.
Playing the role of adult Allison is Megan Falasco. Falasco is magnificent in this role as she embodies a character who has a complicated relationship with her father and is struggling to illustrate this on paper. I thought Falasco is brilliant as Adult Allison and when she sings “It All Comes Back,” it is emotionally moving. Playing her dad, Bruce, is Nick Smith. Smith plays the repressed father who is a gay man living in a loveless marriage from which he gets no joy. Smith is wonderful as this conflicted and unhappy character. The song with Falasco towards the end of the show, “Telephone Wire” is one of my favorite numbers in the show. It is a highly emotional number in the show and both Smith and Falasco shine in this song. In addition, Smith’s performance of “Edges of the World” is strong and brings out the torment this character feels. Playing Allison’s mother, Helen, is Stacia Smith. Stacia Smith brings out the neglected wife aspect of her character as well as her sorrow with the state of her marriage. Her vocal “Days and Days” is strong and passionate. One of my favorite characters of this production is Joan played by Skye Hewish-Schmid. Joan is Allison’s girlfriend who she meets in college. She offers levity at points in the show, and she has great chemistry with Medium Allison, Cora Siburt. Siburt is wonderfully cast as Medium Allison, a college student who is coming to terms with her sexuality. Her number “Changing My Major” is wonderfully giddy. Playing the role of Small Allison is Caitlin Page. Page commands the stage especially in the song, “Ring of Keys.” She is full of energy and innocence and simply wonderful as Allison at a young age. One more musical number that deserves mentioning is the song “Come to the Fun Home.” This number is reminiscent of a song from The Partridge Family and the Small Allison (Caitlin Page) and her brothers (played by Conner Moodle and John Laube) bring lots of fun and pizzazz to the number.
I also need to mention the artistic team. I loved the set design and the creative lighting with the chandeliers. The set was designed by Jordan Janota. Jeff Cusano is the Lighting Designer and Preston Cuer is the Sound Designer. Tricia Corcoan choreographed the dynamic dance numbers. Carolyn Smith is the Costume Designer. In addition, Zach Smith is the Music Director.
Fun Homes runs at Ephrata Performing Arts Center through May 12, 2018. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.ephrataperformingartscenter.com or call the box office at 717-733-7966.
Final Thought: Fun Home at Ephrata Performing Arts Center is a powerful musical with a moving story about a family in Pennsylvania. This is the type of important show I am grateful EPAC produces. The cast of this show does an exquisite job of bringing this show to EPAC’s stage and the honesty that comes through in their performances is extraordinary. Audiences will laugh and be moved by this show.
Kelli Curtin is founding editor and writer for theatresensation.com. She has maintained a love of the performing arts since a very early age and she is excited to share her passion about theatre and the Arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.