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Stage Left Theater's "Fun Home"

Cedric Bidwell-Williams, Chelsea DuVall, Jeremy Whittington, Hope Cornett and Troy Nickerson (L–R) of Stage Left's Fun Home in the SPR performance space
E.J. Iannelli
/
Spokane Public Radio
Cedric Bidwell-Williams, Chelsea DuVall, Jeremy Whittington, Hope Cornett and Troy Nickerson (L–R) of Stage Left's Fun Home in the SPR performance space

Co-directors and cast members preview a musical about coming of age and coming out

Hope Cornett, Chelsea DuVall, Troy Nickerson and Jeremy Whittington of Stage Left Theater's new production of Fun Home joined E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio to talk about the musical, which opens this weekend for a four-week run.

Fun Home is Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's 2013 stage adaptation of cartoonist Alison Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. It explores Alison's past and her self-discovery with a special focus on the fraught relationship with her father, Bruce.

Accompanied by music director Cedric Bidwell-Williams, DuVall opened with a live performance of "Maps." The song, which is about the small geographic circle that contained much of Bruce's life, served as a starting point to discuss the show's narrative and the characters of present-day Alison, played by DuVall, and college-aged Medium Alison, played by Cornett. Bruce is played by Jerrod Phelps.

This is Cornett's stage debut in Spokane. They talked about their musical theater background and how they discovered the local theater community. Duvall and Cornett also explained the different facets that Small Alison, played by Madylin Brownlee, brings to the show.

Co-directors Whittington and Nickerson discussed the show's music, its lighting and set design, its wide emotional range and the personal resonance it has for them — especially Whittington, who at a young age had career ambitions of becoming an illustrator like Bechdel.

Cornett and Bidwell-Williams closed the interview with a live performance of one of Fun Home's most well-known songs, "Changing My Major."

Fun Home opens this Friday (Jan. 26) and runs at Stage Left until February 18. Ticket info and showtimes are available at Stage Left's website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director