Say Something Bunny! is not traditional theater, but instead more like a captivating presentation of sociological research. It feels more like an experience than a performance. It is unique and very, very, very cool!
To see Say Something Bunny!, you enter an immaculate modern gallery-like space on 20th Street and 11th Avenue, which is entirely free of clutter. The sleekness of the space serves as a dramatic contrast to the muddled sound clips from the 1950s that form the basis of the show. Alison S. M. Kobayashi is the only performer, although all 20-30 audience members become a very crucial part of the story. However, fear not: There is nothing even close to resembling awkward audience participation.
Photos: Lanna Apisukh, Lee Towndrow, and Henry Chan
Each audience member has a copy of the transcripts of the clips in front of them. Projected videos and personal phone-sized digital screens enhance Alison's performance perfectly. You become her co-sleuth in what feels like audience and performer working together to uncover what is going on in these recordings. This is like a communal space-age conference to figure out a weird recording from the past and understand the people in it! The whiplash-inducing amount of characters in the beginning eventually start to make sense and then you even start the feel the presence of their (very friendly) ghosts in the room.
Say Something Bunny! is funny and delightful. This is thanks, in part, to Alison's earnest and incredibly charming performance. This is the future of art...the kind of really-well-done avant garde theater that gets the attention of the nominating committees for things like the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.
Check out this video of Alison and Say Something Bunny! to get even more of a sense of what she and the show are all about:
The hype around this show is enormous. It's usually sold out a month in advance, so get tickets now for the first available date that you can attend.
Pro Tip: Get there early as the seating is general admission and first-come, first-served. If possible, choose a seat at the round table when you enter the space instead of the seats with music stands in the back for a better experience.
Runs through June 17.
Sam saw ~250 shows this year. Here's his Top 10 faves!