Love Is Love

Love Is Love

‘Falsettos’ challenges definitions of love, family


It’s a tale as old as time: Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy divorces girl when he realizes he is gay, boy and ex-wife start seeing the same therapist while trying to navigate raising their preteen son with boy’s new lover added to the mix. OK, so maybe not quite the typical narrative.

The cast of The Lincoln Center’s revival of “Falsettos” gather on the first day of rehearsal in early January with writer and director James Lapine.

“Circumstantially, this is a pretty interesting juxtaposition of people — [it’s] odd, and sort of intentionally larger-than-life. And the reason that it’s done that way is because it represents real life,” shares Nick Blaemire. Blaemire fills the role of Mendel the psychiatrist in the national tour of “Falsettos,” launching from the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville with preview performances Feb. 8 and 9.

“This idea that 2.2 kids and a happy marriage is the goal of life is just not acknowledging the truth [that] every single person is their own person, and every single circumstance is their own,” Blaemire continues. “And hopefully [this story] can be a metaphor for us being able to see that every family is nontraditional, that tradition is actually just something we use to create a sense of normalcy where there is none.”

Written by William Finn (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) and James Lapine (“Passion,” “Into the Woods”), 2016’s “Falsettos” was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. The original Broadway production premiered in 1992, but dates back even further as the musical was created in the joining together of Finn’s one-act musicals “March of the Falsettos” (1981) and “Falsettoland” (1990). Despite the very specific situation in which the characters find themselves, the success of the 2016 revival and subsequent buzz surrounding the tour demonstrate the show’s continued relevance nearly four decades later.


“This show is a sort of East Coast mentality — [it’s] about Jews dealing with their neuroses. That is not everybody’s experience and yet I think it does a really good job of not criticizing other people’s experience or judging these characters,” Blaemire reveals. “It’s about presenting them as human beings and as incredibly relatable human beings to anybody of [any] race, creed, size, color, does not matter. I’m really looking forward to coming to each place with a ton of compassion and hopefully bridging some divides that we might not all be able to do face-to-face. Theater becomes helpful in that way.”

The show reminds audiences that “love can tell a million stories,” and “its fundamental subject,” writes The New York Times, “is that mysterious, maddening, uplifting, life-complicating emotion we refer to as love, which hasn’t changed in 25 years — or, for that matter, many more than that.”

“We are all very much trying to search for who our families are, both born into and chosen. And very often, the people who you’re born to are not the people that you connect with most,” Blaemire muses. “As we get to know ourselves and as we find people who connect with us and make us feel like the best versions of ourselves, those people come in all shapes and sizes. And we should be OK with that. I think without being didactic, the show really speaks directly to that point.”




WHEN — 8 p.m. Feb. 8 & 9

WHERE — Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville

COST — $38-$77

INFO — 443-5600,

Categories: Music