Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bunny Bunny--Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy

 Zweibel watching Gilda perform
1812 Productions is the first Philadelphia theatre company to produce Bunny Bunny—Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy since its world premiere in Philadelphia 16 years ago.   The production can be seen through October 27 at the Independence Studio on 3 at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street. The space on 3 is small but the actors do a colossal job of telling this extremely personal story of Gilda Radner’s life seen through the eyes of friend and writer Alan Zweibel.  Zweibel and Radner met as novices on the set of Saturday Night Live and as she continued on with a solo career, he continued with writing, frequently writing humorous material for Gilda to perform.  Gilda was a queen of comedy cut down in her prime by cancer; yet Alan Zweibel, due to his lifelong relationship with her, managed to write her story with a humorous and compelling bent.  Matt Pfeiffer is an Alan par excellence.  From his initial comments to the viewers, to his interactions with Gilda, he keeps the audience transfixed.  He has a commanding stage presence.   Likewise, Leah Walton is radiant as Gilda.  She takes us from a slightly frightened young girl on her first day of the Saturday Night Live set to a composed young woman asking her friend Zweibel to “help me make cancer funny.”  You leave the theatre wishing that there had been more… more of the play which seems to end too soon, and more to Gilda’s life, which certainly ended much sooner than everyone would have wished.   For more information or tickets, call 215-592-9560 or visit online at www.1812productions.org

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