Fun Home Touring Company

Started by mrssondheim, Jun 24, 2017, 12:05 PM

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scenicdesign71

#15
Quote from: valmont on Jul 05, 2017, 07:32 PMDid anyone happen to see Alexandra Socha as Medium Alison?  I adore her performance on the OCR.
I do too, @valmont  -- judging by the recording, I think hers is easily the best-sung Medium Alison among the handful of actresses who've played the role to date.  Sadly, I never saw her perform it -- Skeggs had already taken over the role downtown when the run there extended, and then stayed with the show when it moved uptown.  While she never matched Socha's vocal chops, I agree with @Diane that Skeggs's take on the character was truly adorable -- though I did catch one performance later on at CitS where she seemed to have slipped bizarrely over into self-parody, like Medium Alison had gotten randomly trapped in a Woody Allen film -- as the Woody surrogate.  Must have been an off-night.

I'm delighted if my rambling on the old board helped you choose good seats, @AmyG !

AmyG

Quote from: valmont on Jul 05, 2017, 07:32 PMDid anyone happen to see Alexandra Socha as Medium Alison?  I adore her performance on the OCR.
I love this CD! So glad I got it when it was still available. I believe it was a Secret Sondheim gift, though if I didn't get it that way, I probably would have bought it myself.

DiveMilw

@scenicdesign71  - I didn't see the show at The Public.  I was at the Public during the time it was running but I was seeing a different show. (Pam Ann) Had I not been with friends I might have abandoned my Pam Ann tickets and gone to see "Fun Home" instead.  I did see it at Circle and in Hartford.  I saw Hartford's opening night performance from the back of the mezz.  The mezzanine holds as many people as the does Circle in the Square so I was pretty far away.  The show carried up that far pretty well.  (Comparing it to "The King & I" which I didn't feel looked good from the back of the orchestra.)  What day did you see it in Hartford?
I no longer long for the old view!

Bobster

Quote from: scenicdesign71 on Jul 04, 2017, 09:40 AMSo I was equal parts curious and nervous about seeing the tour in Hartford, once again trapped behind a proscenium.  Lo and behold, another pleasant surprise: I ended up crying just as much there as I had during any of my eventual 9 or 10 viewings at Circle in the Square.  Nothing can dim my memories of the original cast; but Shindle and company were marvelous, and I even came around to non-grudging acceptance of the logistically necessary return to a proscenium format -- not a simple reversion to the Public design and staging, but tighter, leaner, and more carefully focused, which certainly helped.  Performances, design and staging alike struck me as all the more impressive given the rather inhospitable setting: Mortensen Hall, at Hartford's Bushnell Center, seems to have been designed with the singleminded goal of forbidding any sense of intimacy between performer and audience.

Yes indeed, it was not the same staging as at the Public.

Since I know the piece so well, I may have not had as open eyes to questions/problems with Circle, etc.

(D/valmont, I did see Alexandra and she was lovely in her own way too)

I really LOVED Carly Gold's "Ring of Keys", so full of happy wonder.  And she made it clear that it wasn't a "love song" as well (some audience members perceived it as such in the past) but a full revelation into her personal nature.

And Robert Petkof and Susan Mones - Buddy and Sally in Chicago's Follies!! - had a real married couple feel and chemistry that gave it a better balance (I agree with some people that Cerveris depending on the performance could be way too much).

Oh heck, I love the show too much; the tour would really have to had been horrible for me not to love it but it all was so wonderful; I really want it to come back to New York as a limited run!!!

Leighton

Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


scenicdesign71

#21
Re: Alexandra Socha:

I just now discovered this video of her Public performance of "Changing My Major" -- posted on YouTube a couple months after @valmont inquired, upthread, about people having seen her as Medium Alison (which it seems none of us did except @Bobster)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WahtXVPgQNY

Since Fun Home, (and presumably why she didn't move uptown with it), Socha's time seems to have been devoted mainly to three seasons of Red Oaks, a 1980s-set coming-of-age dramedy cited by Vulture as Amazon's most underrated original series.


valmont

I have to admit that what I remember of Emily Skeggs's physicality seemed to carry the scene better.  But I'm very glad this video exists.  Thanks so much!
I was born to ask "why was I born?"

scenicdesign71

#23
"Days and Days" from the Public production:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWv1mRDff8g

The video quality is remarkable, and Kuhn's performance, as ever, shines.

I still maintain that staging this song as a park-and-bark at the kitchen table was a notably wrong strategy on Gold's part.  (The sense of inertia thus engendered -- however bluntly appropriate it might seem -- probably contributed to my lazy initial sense of the song, at the Public, as a pro-forma retread of "Patterns" (Baby), "Every Day A Little Death" (ALNM), and half a dozen other examples of the depressed-housewife genre).  Allowing Helen to instead wander around her husband's Maple Avenue "museum" (indeed, forcing her to, at Circle in the Square, for sightlines' sake at the very least) was the far superior choice, bringing the song to palpable -- and heartbreaking -- life. 

Still, Kuhn could probably deliver this song magnificently standing on her head, so it's wonderful to have this beautifully-shot record of her performance downtown.

scenicdesign71

#24
One among many raves for the Young Vic production:

https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/fun-home-review

Featuring the aptly wry opener:  "If there are two things the Americans make us look like absolute amateurs at, it's dementedly self-destructive domestic politics and musical theatre."

...and circling back around for this parting gem:  "If [Fun Home] doesn't storm the West End in fairly short order then the world is even more screwed than we thought it was."

But not a hint of snark in between -- just unreserved admiration for Tesori, Kron, Gold and Bechdel's "astonishing" work, and that of (what sounds like) an amazing cast: in particular, Zubin Varla and Jenna Russell have been garnering acclaim across the board as Bruce and Helen respectively.

More in this review roundup from The Stagehttps://www.thestage.co.uk/opinion/2018/fun-home-young-vic-review-round-up/

Encouragingly, the Time Out review, quoted above, is typical not only in its glowing enthusiasm for the show but, specifically, in its vociferous call for a West End transfer -- but I've yet to come across anything online suggesting whether or not one might actually happen.  Here's hoping.


AmyG

Quote from: scenicdesign71 on Aug 18, 2018, 08:14 PMFeaturing the aptly wry opener:  "If there are two things the Americans make us look like absolute amateurs at, it's dementedly self-destructive domestic politics and musical theatre."
They do love our (best) musical theatre across the pond -- and for good reason.  They also do a spectacular job of interpreting it very often. 

I would love to see this production. I am so glad we got to see this in New York and then again on tour. 

scenicdesign71

#26
I don't know how I missed this until now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=88&v=yaAoHLyAxZk

In addition to providing a tiny, fascinating glimpse into T-RAB's workspace (in facsimile), it also gives me a total prop-nerd thrill -- and even more respect, if possible, than I already had for David Zinn.