What made Gilda Radner one of the all-time comic greats was her astonishing combination of fragility and complete disinhibition. She was raucous, sweet, lewd and confused. You really had no idea what she was likely to do at any given moment -- spit, fall, collapse into uncontrollable laughter -- nor, I imagine, did her cast-mates on Saturday Night Live, where she created a roster of characters so full-blooded and eccentric that just naming them sets off a cascade of memories: Emily Litella, Roseanne Roseannadanna, Baba Wawa, teenaged Lisa Loopner, and the drug-besotted rocker Candy Slice. When Radner died of ovarian cancer in 1989, we knew that no one remotely like her would ever come our way again.
Maggie RoswellBunny Bunny is a remembrance by Alan Zweibel, an SNL writer with whom Radner had a long-term flirtatious and affectionate friend-ship. Stories on Stage is mounting a reading Saturday starring Maggie Roswell, an actress who was once approached to be Radners replacement on SNL, but declined because my agent said that shows going nowhere.
In the last years of her life, Radner created a system of support groups for cancer patients and their families, and proceeds from Bunny Bunny will go to Colorados Cancer Support Community, previously Gildas Club. The show plays Su Teatro @ the Denver Civic Theatre, 721 Santa Fe Drive, at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $25; for more information, log on to www.storiesonstage.org.
Sat., Jan. 15, 2011