Letter: The Amazing Beth Malone
The Amazing Beth Malone
On June 26, the day that the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country and the president spoke on the “expansion of human rights” in the eulogy of Rev. Pinckney of South Carolina, we sat in New York City in a small, packed theater at “Fun Home,” a Broadway musical starring part-time Snowmass resident Beth Malone.
Beth played a grown-up lesbian looking back on her childhood, her horribly conflicted family, and narrated her character’s progression from little girl to fully confident adult. (The show, in no small feat, won a Tony Award this year for best musical, and Beth played the first lesbian protagonist in Broadway history). Her performance was more than charismatic. It was truthful, honest, sad, challenging and, in the end, triumphant. The story, and we won’t spoil the ending, isn’t innately happy. It’s anything but.
But Beth’s performance was brave, and on that historic day, perfectly timed. After the final scene, nobody left. The cast, including Beth, returned to the stage wrapped in the rainbow flag. Beth stepped forward first to speak. “To give this performance on this day,” she said, “is something I never expected.” She went on to say how much the Supreme Court’s decision meant to her, to her friends, and she spoke for the thousands of gay youth around the country who will not have to grow up in as much fear, shame and loneliness as their predecessors. She then thanked everyone who fought these freedom battles before her. With a standing ovation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including mine. Your own resident, Beth, represented your communities in a way we’re not sure anyone in history has. You should be extremely proud.
Ryan Slabaugh and Catherine Bosin
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