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Sorrel, [Maev Beaty], keeps up a retrospective commentary on herself and the men in her life, a running soliloquy whose tone varies between humorously self-deprecating and even more humorously self-deprecating. The sharper the humour, the deeper the sting.
Bunny is a romance. What’s more, it’s sexy. But the romance often isn’t erotic and the sex isn’t always romantic. But in its messiness, this story of desire, morality and connection is hard not to fall in love with.
Every new play should get as clear and assured a first production as director Sarah Garton Stanley’s here. In a highly physical and very funny performance as Sorrel, Maev Beaty is the rebar that holds the somewhat unwieldy play together. …And yet Beaty creates a memorable main character worth spending time with merely for her observations on life, her quirks, the moments along the way. As Bunny’s professor says at one point, “Maybe good lines are better than coherence.”
At first blush—and you may do some blushing—Bunny is a very funny romp through one woman’s sexual discovery. But it’s more than that. The play raises questions, lots of them. Do women want to be “good and normal?” Does female sexuality have to be justified? And if Bunny were a man would we ask these questions at all?
Mike Fischer at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saw 10 shows and has ranked them, less as a reductive prescription than as an invitation to conversation.
1) Macbeth: “one’s deepest and darkest thoughts emerge into what little light there ever is; watching this world unfold, one feels an unsettling, primeval connection to characters who are both a millennium old (this production is set in eleventh-century Scotland) and a reflection of ourselves and our neighbors.”
2) All My Sons: “…marvel anew at how much his play still has to say to us and the way we live now…”
3) A Chorus Line: from the tryout at the top of the show to the symbolic, outward facing circle the ensemble creates near journey’s end, we’re reminded that “love’s what we’ll remember.”
4) Bunny: ” I’m not pulling punches when predicting a rousing success for this darkly funny and also wrenching account of a woman (beautifully played by Maev Beaty) in her late thirties, looking back on a lonely life in which her need to be needed results in numerous sexual relationships.”