1812 Productions to Open 2013-14 Season with BUNNY BUNNY-GILDA RADNER, 9/19-10/27
1812 Productions will open its 2013-2014 season with Alan Zweibel's celebrated comedy Bunny Bunny-Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy. Bunny Bunny stars Leah Walton, in her 1812 Productions debut, as Gilda Radner and Barrymore Award winner Matt Pfeiffer as Alan, the play's fictional version of its own author. Matt Tallman, also making his 1812 Productions debut, joins the duo in more than 20 supporting roles.
An imaginary history of Alan and Gilda's electric relationship, Bunny Bunny is a fast paced comedy tour of the short 15 years that these friends, and almost lovers, spent together making their lives work-and comedy history in the process. Beginning with their first on-the-spot partnership in the writer's room for Saturday Night Live, through Gilda's passing from ovarian cancer, Bunny Bunny is a quick-witted memory chronicle-a time capsule of joy and friendship-presented in an unbroken dialogue. Sometimes heart breaking but never jaded, sometimes rose-colored but never sentimental. Mr. Zweibel wrote of the play, shortly after its first production in 1997, "Writers are lucky. Whatever the mood, no matter the longing, the writer can use his words to connect himself to any world he wishes to visit. I happen to like my world very much: I am happily married. I have the three best children in existence and two loving parents. But I still miss my pal Gilda. A lot. So three years ago, in an attempt to connect, the lucky writer grabbed his pen and relived his cherished memories of a relationship that, despite death, is still very much alive... I feel blessed that I once cared so much for someone that I can vividly describe the spirit I'm still imbued with years after she died. It's like I said before, writers are lucky."
1812 Productions is the first theatre company to produce Bunny Bunny-Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy in Philadelphia since it enjoyed its world premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company in 1997. In addition to featuring 1812 newcomers Leah Walton and Matt Tallman, Bunny Bunny also welcomes Noah Herman in his directorial debut at 1812 Productions. Mr. Herman says of the play, "I saw Philadelphia Theatre Company's world premiere ofBunny Bunny back in 1997, and it had a profound effect on me. I remember being infatuated with Paula Cale, who played Gilda. I think now that I must have watched her the same way people first watched Gilda Radner in the 70's-I couldn't remember ever seeing a performer who was so beautiful and quirky and funny all at the same time. To be directing Bunny Bunny with 1812, a theatre company whose mission it is to explore and celebrate the history of comedy and great comedians, seems so right to me. It's an honor to be working with this cast and creative team on such a funny play about such a funny woman."
Mr Zweibel was one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live and his long career includes multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards. His many theatrical contributions include the Tony Award winning play 700 Sundays, co-created with Billy Crystal, Martin Short's Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me, and several off-Broadway works. He is a Thurber prize winning novelist whose writing has appeared in publications ranging from The New Yorker and Esquire to The Atlantic Monthly and The Huffington Post. He is currently engaged in several projects for the stage and screen.
1812 Productions' artistic director, Jennifer Childs, says of Bunny Bunny, "Gilda Radner has been an idol of mine since before I knew I wanted to do comedy.Bunny Bunny is so intimate, so personal, screamingly funny, and heartbreaking. But while Gilda is the focus of the play, it is the comic rhythm and genius of Alan Zweibel that gives the play its momentum. As you're laughing you remember, "Oh yeah, this is the guy who wrote The Samurai for John Belushi!"
Bunny Bunny-Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy will play from September 19th through October 27th at Independence Studio on 3 at Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street. Opening Night will be Wednesday, September 25th at 7:00pm. Ticket prices range from $25-$40 and can be purchased at 215-592-9560 or at www.1812productions.org.