30 Days of Philly Arts

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30 Days of Philly Arts: Bunny Bunny at 1812 Productions - Day 19

1812 Productions is the only professional all-comedy theater company in the nation. 1812 presents both original works and well established plays, ranging from slapstick to vaudeville, and everything in between.


Contrary to what the name may suggest, the company was founded in 1997 by long-time friends Jennifer Childs and Peter Pryor and it was named for the house at 1812 Pine where Childs and Pryor were living at the time.

To kick off this fall season, 1812 is presenting Bunny Bunny--Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy. Running through October 27, the play, written by former Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel, chronicles his long-time loving friendship with Gilda Radner.

Zweibel has had an acclaimed career in both television and stage writing, and, according to the New York Times, "has earned a place in the American pop culture pantheon." Zweibel describes Bunny Bunny as, "his cherished memories of a relationship that, despite death, is still very much alive."

Radner rose to fame as one of the original cast members of SNL, and was well known for her Roseanne Roseannadanna and Baba Waba characters, as well as her keen impersonations of celebrities ranging from Patti Smith to Lucille Ball.

After her untimely death at 42 from ovarian cancer, her husband, comedian Gene Wilder, co-founded a cancer support group called Gilda's Club New York City and its funding Bunny Bunny Society.

Gilda explains where the name Bunny Bunny comes from:

When I was little, my Dad told me whenever I got scared at night to get under the covers and say the words, “Bunny Bunny” and it would protect me. Maybe it’s habit or superstition, but on the first day of every month the first words, I say are, “Bunny Bunny,” to keep me safe from anything bad that could happen.
1812 productions is bringing the play back to Philadelphia, where Bunny Bunny debuted in 1997 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. 1812's production stars Barrymore Award winning actress Leah Walton as Gilda and Philadelphia native Matt Pfeiffer as Alan. The play also features Matt Tallman playing 20 supporting roles.

For more information about Bunny Bunny, as well as information regarding 1812's other upcoming productions, you can visit their website here. VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKNeoosTLnU VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7gLJr03vNQ

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