Back in 2016, it was announced that Fun Home was coming to Manila. From November 10 – 27, it would run at the RCBC Plaza. Now the minute I heard about that, I knew I had to get a ticket. Musicals, especially one as groundbreaking as Fun Home, don’t often come to Manila. For those who missed it, don’t fret! They’re back with a special limited rerun this March 10-19.
So why do I hold this musical at such high regard? Well, let me break it down for you. First, Fun Home uses my favorite musical trope: upbeat music to balance the dark themes. For instance, “Come to the Fun Home”, sung by the Bechdel children, is a commercial for people to come to their family’s Funeral Home. Other notable examples of this type of musical are Next to Normal and Spring Awakening.
Second, it has such creative writing. The coming-of-age story gets an upgrade with Fun Home. The entire story is told in different time periods, with the oldest iteration of the main character acting as the witty narrator. Alison Bechdel, the main character and author of the source material, relives her realization of her lesbian identity from when she was a child and from when she was in college. The growth in Alison’s character is juxtaposed in the devolution of Bruce’s, her father, character.
Finally, the local cast is incredible! Cris Villonco, who plays adult Alison, is so charming. Real life sisters Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante and Katie Bradshaw, who play medium and small Alison respectively are enchanting. Eric Kunze is a perfect fit for Bruce Bechdel. He’s charismatic, snarky, and broken. Of course, Lea Salonga playing Helen Bechdel, didn’t disappoint. Her time on stage isn’t long, but whenever she’s there, she just steals the show. Her solo towards the end of the second act, “Days and Days”, will surely bring tears to your eyes.
If you missed Fun Home’s run last last year, you have a second chance to watch the show. From March 10-19, just in time for Women’s Month, the Tony Award-winning musical is back for a special limited rerun. All the same cast members from last year are back, including Broadway legends Lea Salonga and Eric Kunze. What are you waiting for? Grab a ticket and get ready to get blown away.