Funny Bunny

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 Radner’s replacement on SNL, but declined because “my agent said that show’s going nowhere.”

Roswell is best known for her work on The Simpsons, where she voices — among other roles — Maude Flanders.

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 Colorado’s Cancer Support Community, previously Gilda’s 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

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Juliet Wittman is an investigative reporter and critic with a passion for theater, literature, social justice and food. She has reviewed theater for Westword for over a decade; for many years, she also reviewed memoirs for the Washington Post. She has won several journalism awards and published essays and short stories in literary magazines. Her novel, Stocker's Kitchen, can be obtained at select local bookstores and on Amazon.
Contact: Juliet Wittman