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Salt Lake Acting Company to produce new musical “Fun Home”

First Published      Last Updated Mar 15 2017 07:59 pm

Stage » Dark comedies to take the stage in the company’s 47th season.

The new-gen Broadway musical "Fun Home" is coming home to Utah with a regional premiere at Salt Lake Acting Company, after the Tony Award-winning musical received development attention at a Sundance Theatre Lab.

The musical, with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, is an unlikely adaptation of Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir about coming to terms with her sexuality and that of her gay father after being raised in a funeral home.

The show, which won five Tony Awards including Best Musical in 2016, is considered the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian lead character. "The intimacy of SLAC's theater is going to make the story ring out even truer and brighter and bolder," says executive artistic director Cynthia Fleming, of the story that played in the round on Broadway and on a proscenium stage for its national tour.




"When you pick seasons, you're very sensitive to the temperature of what's happening, and who we are as people, what are we craving, what will help open us up, what will help bring awareness," Fleming says, which is why the theater's season is packed with smart, dark, edgy comedies.

SLAC plans to launch its season with Chisa Hutchinson's "Surely Goodness and Mercy" (rights are still pending, Fleming says), a story set at a New Jersey elementary school where a brilliant 12-year-old outcast forms a relationship with a crotchety lunch lady.

Next up will be Steve Yockey's "Mercury," a "pitch black" horror comedy that will feature oceans of blood — a very different story than the playwright's "Blackberry Winter," a play about a woman coming to deal with her mother's gradual descent into dementia, which the company produced in October 2015. Fleming praised the playwright's humor, calling "Mercury," which received a staged reading in the company's New Play Sounding Series, the closest thing to a Halloween play the company has produced. "There's going to be some blood and horror in this comedy," she says. "We're excited about that."

In February, SLAC will produce Taylor Mac's "Hir" (pronounced "Her"), a subversive "gender-bending" comedy about a veteran who returns home to find a household in revolt, led by his mother and his trans sister, while his once-oppressive father wears a clown costume and sleeps.

The season will also include the company's annual holiday season children's play, this year a story told from the point of view of the Big Bad Wolf, "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" to be directed and choreographed by Penny Caywood; and a 40th-birthday edition of the annual local musical satire, Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht's "Saturday's Voyeur."

 

AT A GLANCE

Dark comedies at SLAC

The contemporary theater company offers a season of new works.

“Surely Goodness and Mercy” » By Chisa Hutchinson; Sept. 6-Oct. 15

“Mercury” » By Steve Yockey; Oct. 11-Nov. 12

“Fun Home” » Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, with music by Jeanine Tesori, adapted from the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel; April 4-May 6

Special events

“The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!” » By Paul Gilvary, Robert Kauzlaric and Williams Rush, adapted from the book by John Scieszka and Lane Smith; Dec. 1-29

“Saturday’s Voyeur” » By Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht; June 20-Aug. 26

Tickets » Season tickets are $123-$195; children’s show add-on tickets $25 ($15 children); single tickets ranging from $24-$43, with student and 30-and-under discounts; “Voyeur” tickets from $44-$55

Available » 801-363-7522, or at saltlakeactingcompany.org or at the theater, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City


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