Fun Home has set records in its Tony wins! Let me count the ways.
I'm thrilled that the writing team was female, the first female writing team to win a Tony for a musical score. They now join some of those household names: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Webber and Rice.
Yes, I realize it's probably only in my household that those names are instantly recognized. Still, I'm thrilled that a pair of women has joined those names.
I think that the musical has also set a new record for most awards won for a musical.
And surely this is the first musical adapted from a graphic novel to win a Tony. Is it the first musical ever adapted from a graphic novel? I would guess yes, but I'm not sure.
Alison Bechdel is having a wonderful year, with her MacArthur grant back in October and now, this musical based on her work winning these awards.
When I was a teenager, I would have stayed up late, watching and studying. Last night I did not.
I haven't kept up with the theatre world the way I once did. I don't even go see plays the way I once did. Of course, I wish that I would force myself to go out and see more live theatre. When we first moved to South Florida, I had colleague friends who routinely flew to New York for culture week-ends. I had dreams of doing that. I still do.
But here's an idea: I can rekindle my early adolescent love. I can read more plays. It's less of a time commitment than reading novels,. They're portable (and weigh less than a novel). And a play that's been nominated for a Tony award is less likely to disappoint than novels that have been nominated for awards--some of those novels are just downright incomprehensible. And I wrote my M.A. thesis on James Joyce, so I'm used to dealing with difficult literature.
Let me begin with Fun Home. I'll read the graphic novel. I expect to like it better than Roz Chast's Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant.
And for today, I'll go through the day with the glow that I feel when someone who deserves good things gets her reward. And the glow from thinking about how much the world has changed for the better: women writers getting MacArthur grants, women writing teams winning Tonys, musicals with very different subject matters getting a Tony, a woman who begins by writing comic strips and moves into novel writing, so much to celebrate.
What a different world we live in today, so different than in the 80's, when I first discovered Bechdel's cartoons in alternative newspapers and feminist bookstores. I miss some of those now-gone feminist bookstores, but I rejoice in the other societal shifts.
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