U.S. And U.N. Use Broadway’s Fun Home To Promote Gay Rights
The power of a story is nothing new to theater-goers. In fact, that might be the reason so many consistently find themselves back in the seats of Broadway preparing to either witness or listen to a story that will either take them far from the world we know or slap them directly into it. The power of storytelling, whether it be realistic or not, has endless possibilities. As Broadway’s Tony Award winning Best Musical found out this week, it has the power to promote basic human rights for all to some of the world’s highest politicians. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news of how the United States and United Nations teamed up using Broadway’s Fun Home to promote gay rights!
With the United States and United Nations pushing to promote gay rights to gay rights worldwide, both turned to Broadway this week for a little help. On March 1st, the United States, hosted by U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, treated ambassadors from 14 nations and the European Union to a special performance of the Tony Award winning Best Musical Fun Home. Ambassadors from Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Gabon, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam were all present. The move to bring the ambassadors to a Broadway show regarding the topic came as a change of heart to better understand the issues and subject matter instead of pushing political resolutions and statements on the U.N. floor. Thanks to Ian Strood for the photo above right of the U.N. Ambassadors at Fun Home!
In 2014, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki announced the United Nations would recognize same-sex marriage on their organizations staff. However, 43 countries tried to overturn that decision. While the battle for equal rights for same-sex couples here in the United States has battled on, it is much worse in many places round the world. At least 75 different foreign countries still consider same-sex marriage, as well as homosexuality, a crime according to a United Nations report. The United States recently legalized same-sex marriage nationwide during the summer of 2014 allowing any and all couples interested in marriage the opportunity to do so.
Fun Home is a musical that features music by Jeanine Tesori with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. The musical, based off of the 2006 memoir by Alison Bechdel, tells the story of a young girl coming-of-age as a lesbian and her relationship with her father, a closeted gay man, and several mysteries surrounding his life. It is the first major Broadway musical with a lesbian leading character. It debuted on Broadway at The Circle In The Square Theater in Spring 2015 following a previous run Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre from September 2013 through January 2014. The show was critically acclaimed on Broadway receiving 12 Tony Award nominations and going on to win five including Best Musical. The show was nominated for the 2016 Grammy Award Best Musical Theatre Album. It still is playing eight performances a week on Broadway.
Luner Lowdown: What a statement to not only the power of theater but the power and significance of Broadway. Broadway’s 41 Theaters, located in Midtown Manhattan just blocks from the United Nations, sit as a vast wealth of not only entertainment but education to ambassadors and staff members from around the world. The fact that the United States used theatre and Broadway’s latest Tony Award winning musical to help others understand a topic as opposed to pushing for political resolutions speaks to the volume the story theatre can tell. Fun Home should be incredibly proud. The United States and United Nations should be very proud. But above all, Broadway should be proud. We have demonstrated our story-telling abilities and production values not only have the ability to entertain millions of tourists and New Yorker’s but also educate some of the world’s biggest politicians.
And as for how it all went over? Let’s look to what United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said to the cast following their performance;
“Thank you for bringing this all home in a way that resolutions and statements never can”
For more information, visit Fun Home’s Official Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. (Please note; Unless a photo is noted to be taken by Luner on Theatre, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post.) Visit the rest Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news on Broadway, London and beyond!