A national tour of the Off-Broadway Bunny Bunny scheduled to start in June ran into a scheduling snag in San Francisco, but a spokesperson from the Merle Frimark office told Playbill On-Line (July 29) she expected the problems to be resolved sometime in August, at which point casting will also be determined.
Gilda Radner, "Saturday Night Live" actress and comedienne, and "SNL" writer Alan Zweibel were best friends for nearly 15 years. Though never lovers, they shared an eccentric kinship until her death from cancer in May 1989. Zweibel wrote a book about their relationship which he turned into a stage play, Bunny Bunny, that played at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Off Broadway.
Though well-received (especially for its inventive set design), the show had difficulty finding audiences in the busy 1996-97 season and closed May 25, after 12 previews and 73 regular performances.
Bunny Bunny began previews at the Lortel March 11, opened March 23, and was nominated for a best play Outer Critics Circle Award. The show world-premiered in late 1996 at Philadelphia Theatre Company's Plays & Players Theatre.
Though a comedy, Bunny Bunny follows the full arc of Zweibel and Radner's friendship, ending with the playwright's eulogy for the actress. Christopher Ashley, best known for staging the Off-Broadway, L.A. and film versions of Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey, directs Bunny Bunny. "When long-time PCT director Christopher Ashley brought Bunny Bunny to our attention," said producing artistic director Sara Garonzik, "it seemed like a perfect pairing of two creative minds. We have been admirers of Alan Zweibel's work since 1985 when we produced his delightful one-act, Between Cars.."
After his "Saturday Night Live" years, Zweibel wrote for the television program "It's Garry Shandling's Show" and worked on the Rob Reiner film, North (based on Zweibel's own novel). Bunny Bunny was workshopped at Vassar's New York Stage & Film in 1995.
Bunny Bunny was presented by Bernie Brillstein, James D. Stern, Brad Grey and Harriet Newman at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York's Greenwich Village.
-- By David Lefkowitz