Making a Fun Home: The Performance of Queer Families in Contemporary Musical Theater

Florian Weinzierl

Abstract


This essay examines the performance of the queer family as presented in the Broadway musicals Falsettos (1992) by William Finn and James Lapine and Fun Home (2015) by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron. While both musicals feature idealized non-traditional models of the family with queer individuals as crucial agents of their formation, Fun Home questions rather than affirms the actualization of this ideal through the critical engagement on stage with issues of performance and performativity. In so doing, the article traces a bigger trajectory of historical moments in queer thinking from the 1980s until the present moment that verges back and forth between optimism and pessimism as well as relational and non-relational understandings of sexual identities.

Keywords


Musical Theater; queer theory; performance studies; the American family; Fun Home; Falsettos

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