Monday, February 11, 2013

Bunnicula on the loose

Yes, I was well-aware that when I decided to see Bunnicula at the DR2 Kids Theatre for a 1:00 matinee that my friend and I would be one of the older audience members without a tiny tot in tow. Still, with a book by Charles Busch (and music by Sam Davis, lyrics by Mark Waldrop), I couldn't resist checking out a musical version of the most popular book at my elementary school growing up.

Bunnicula is a strange creature-- and not just because the title character sucks the nutrients out of vegetables. The books are interesting because they set up a horror premise, even though the story's big, bad villain is not really bad at all, just eccentric in his eating habits. Therefore, this adaptation's emphasis is put squarely on the other two household pets, Harold the dog and Chester the cat, as a lot of palling around leads to some jealousy and a rather unexpected confidence makeover-- the latter resulting in Harold the dog parading around in "salad drag." I heard a kid repeat this phrase in the lobby to his mom on my way out of the theater and figured that even if this is all Charles Busch accomplishes with this show, it's still a pretty big win in my book.

It's strange seeing a play specifically for kids as an adult. As much as I appreciated modern references thrown in and a lot of timed humor that was pretty sophisticated, this was a show squarely aimed for the child-set. And it actually took me back to when I would see a lot of community theatre on field trips in Hawaii, an education that I think has really shaped my outlook on the world. I feel very lucky to be a part of an industry that continues to build that kind of programming for young minds, and Bunnicula is a fun example of that.

And, while there are no videos from Bunnicula on the interwebs at the moment, I thought I would leave you with a clip from another Charles Busch show (not for kids), The Divine Sister:

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