Heartfelt, touching and funny, “Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy” chronicles the relationship between Alan Zweibel and Gilda Radner. Alan, a writer on SNL in the first five years wrote with Gilda many of her familiar characters – Roseanne Rosannadanna, Baba Wawa and Emily Litella. The story surprises by not focusing simply on the comedic Gilda we’ve come to know and love on tv, stage and screen. Zweibel, who wrote the piece, takes us on a deep dive into complicated and enduring friendships and the search for love.
Gilda: Madeline Jones
Growing up as the youngest in a large family of nine, Madeline always knew she was meant to be on stage. She started performing in talent shows and school plays at the age of five and hasn’t slowed down since. She picked up community theatre in 2009, briefly studying Directing and Theatre at Grand Rapids Community College. As a kid, Madeline would stay up late on Saturday nights to watch the newest episode of ‘Saturday Night Live!’ and eventually grew up to be a loyal fan of the show, finding some of her favorite sketches within the first few seasons. Familiar roles include “Frances” in Actors’ Theatre production of “The Burnt Part Boys” and Circle Theatre’s “Hands on a Hardbody”. She’s also worked behind scenes as an assistant director/assistant stage manager for Actors’ Theatre’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. She feels extremely grateful for this opportunity to perform with her partner, David Houseman, after such an unplanned ban from the stage, especially in a role she holds so near and dear to her heart.
Alan: David Houseman
David is very excited to be back on stage performing live theater (if even from a studio, streamed to your home!) David has been performing in Grand Rapids Community Theater for the last 5 years. Performances have included “Stanley” in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Butch” in “Leading Ladies.” He is a gifted vocalist and musician appearing in such musicals as “American Idiot” as “Tunney” and “The Burnt Part Boys” as “Jake”. David says that he is thrilled to be working with his “accomplice” Maddie and with LaughFest. We are certainly thrilled to have them both part of the show.
Everybody Else: Darius Colquitt
Darius is an Award-Winning Entertainer, Educator, Writer & Entrepreneur originally from Chicago’s Southside. He’s no stranger to the Midwest Arts Scene, having premiered in over 80 productions with numerous entities. Colquitt has had the esteemed honor of sharing spaces with some amazingly talented celebrities & personalities including Oprah Winfrey, the late Maya Angelou, Keith David, Taraji P. Henson and Country Icons and The Judds to name a few. Colquitt has served on the board of several Midwest Arts organizations while building & maintaining his personal artistic entity, Darius Colquitt & Company (www.DariusColquitt.com). Colquitt has also worked as Acting Educational Director for Ebony Road Players. Last year Darius was a contributing storyteller to LaughFest’s “No Laughing Matter” event. As always: Live in 3D: Desire, Drive & Destiny”.
Director: Teresa Thome
Teresa is co-founder and Managing Partner of Michigan-based Fubble Entertainment. She is a writer, producer, director and performer. Her Solo Performance Show, “Warm Cheese” (performed twice at LaughFest) won BEST SCRIPT at United Solo (NY,NY:2019). She is a two-time Emmy Award winner for the children’s show “Come On Over” where she served as an Executive Producer and for her Co-written/co-produced Web Series, “Backstage Drama.” She is producer/co-host of the highly-rated television special, “Holiday Memories of Grand Rapids” which aired five years consecutively on the NBC and ABC affiliates in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She recently co-wrote and co-produced, as well as appeared in a reading of “The Santa Hat” starring, Tony award winner, Levi Kreis, Ed Asner and Lucie Arnaz. Teresa was an Associate Producer for Semi-Cool Productions’ musical “The Trump Family Special” playing in Los Angeles and New York. Previous projects include serving as an Executive Producer of an animated pilot with the late great Joan Rivers. She co-produced/co-wrote a staged reading of a sitcom “I’ve Got A Life In Kalamazoo” featuring Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Up) and Marion Ross (Happy Days). Teresa also served as a co-creative producer/writer for LaughFest’s signature events with such notables as Betty White, Martin Short, Alan Zweibel and Kevin Nealon. She ran the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum as its first Executive Director for 10 years, is a published writer, Pecha Kucha storyteller and web series host/producer/writer: The Red-Headed Chats on YouTube. Her MOTH style performance of “The Proposal” was featured on the San Francisco Podcast of “Chew on This”.
An original “Saturday Night Live” writer, Alan has won five Emmy Awards for his work in television, which also includes “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” (which he co-created and produced) “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.
A frequent guest on all of the late night talk shows, Alan’s theatrical contributions include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning play “700 Sundays”, Martin Short’s Broadway hit “Fame Becomes Me”, and six off-Broadway plays including “Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy” which he adapted from his best-selling book.
All told, Alan has written eleven books including the 2006 Thurber Prize winning novel “The Other Shulman”, the popular children’s book “Our Tree Named Steve”, and a parody of the Haggadah titled “For This We Left Egypt?” that he wrote with Dave Barry and Adam Mansbach.
The co-writer of the screenplays for the films “Dragnet”, “North”, and “The Story of Us”, Alan has received an honorary PhD. from the State University of New York and because of the diversity of his body or work, in 2010 the Writers Guild of America, East gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alan is currently preparing “Bunny Bunny” for a return to the New York stage, his cultural memoir titled “Laugh Lines – My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier” was recently published by Abrams Books and a movie he co-wrote with Billy Crystal titled “Here Today” that stars Crystal and Tiffany Haddish will be released later this year.
Props: Val Fischer
Sound: Tim Schmidt
Music by: Todd Lewis
Costumes by: Allison Denk
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