‘Fun Home’ In the Feminist Spotlight

Lisa Krona and Jeanine Tesori at their annual Fall Gala.
Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori at the annual Fall Gala.

The New York Women’s Foundation honored Fun Home creators Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori at their annual Fall Gala.

On Thursday October 16, in the Grand Ballroom of the lovely New York City landmark The Plaza Hotel, The New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) held its annual Fall Gala.

The evening was principally to honor Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who frequently highlights the plight of LGBT communities her and abroad, and to recognize the work of Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, creators of the Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home.

The evening was emceed by TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, who was an entertaining host and who urged those gathered there to help raise the $680,000 which will help support NYWF’s more than 70 women-led, community grantee-partner organizations.

The Brighton Heights Reformed Church Youth Orchestra set the fun tone for the evening with a rendition of Taylor Swift’s upbeat single, Shake it Off. But there were many more highlights to follow.

¨Ambassador Power noted in her acceptance speech, speaking of the oppression of women and of LGBT peoples worldwide, that, “We can’t accept a world in which certain people enjoy certain rights. We can’t have ‘no-go’ zones for human rights of any kind.” She praised the work of the NYWF, and urged the audience to continue supporting the organization in its work of“challenging the challenges that the women and girls of this city continue to face.”

But lesbians, and Curve Magazine, were in attendance especially to see the evening’s final honorees, playwright Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori, co-creators of Fun Home, receive recognition for making musical history this year.

Fun Home is the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel‘s tragicomic graphic novel, which details her relationship from childhood to adulthood with her closeted gay father. Kron and Tesori are the first female duo to win a Tony Award for Best Score of a Musical, and together, can be thanked for putting the first ever lesbian protagonist on a Broadway stage.

Tesori thanked the women who had paved the way for her, while Kron emphasized that Fun Home is a lesbian story that not only fits lesbians—it fits everyone else, too.

The trophy for the evening was not the conventional gold-plated, bronze, or plastic paper weight; rather, it was a traditional NYWF Walking Stick Award, hand-made and created especially for each honoree by former NYWF grantee partner Youth Empowerment Mission, Inc. The walking sticks are intended as symbols of wisdom, strength and forward motion.

May such extraordinary women continue to move forward and to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Read our interview with Lisa Kron in the Nov/Dec ‘Culture’ Issue of Curve!