By ALEC CLAYTON
Bunbury, subtitled A Serious Play for Trivial People, comes to Olympia Little Theatre this March — but what or whom is Bunbury? For 124 years he’s been a throwaway reference in a popular comedy. In a new play by Tom Jacobson, however, he’s the title character, who enjoys a romance and encounters with other, formerly minor characters brought to life by director Pug Bujeaud, actor Rodman Bolek and a cast of a dozen actors.
Explains Bujeaud in an email, “Bunbury is a fast-paced and joyous and ever-so-witty romp rooted in characters from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.” She says Jacobson’s play “begins with reflection of perfect love in literature. The show then careens to visit the likes of Romeo and Juliet, goes on a quick jaunt to the world of Edgar Allan Poe. Veering east, it makes a quick stop [in] Russia, visits [Chekov’s] Three Sisters, then heads to the Deep South and reflects on the kindness of strangers. Only after traipsing through a desolate intersection with a couple of tramps [who are] waiting, constantly waiting, and a drunken night with a couple named George and Martha, Bunbury culminates in a reunion on the day of the first moonwalk. It is a reflection on the power of words, the power of love and acceptance and the effect on the world [those] two things have.”
To explain further, “Bunbury” is Algernon’s alter ego in The Importance of Being Earnest. He meets up with Rosaline, Romeo’s offstage love before Juliet. They become entangled with literary characters from George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to Edgar Allan Poe’s raven. In this show, however, the latter is a peacock that says “anytime” rather than “nevermore.”
Bunbury’s cast comprises Shannon Agostinelli, Ethan Bujeaud, Michael Christopher, Drew Doyle, Hannah Eklund, Meghan Goodman, Stephani Hamness, Katelyn May, Paladin Palmerton, Dale Sharp, Erin Quinn Valcho and Megan Wakefield.
7:25 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays,
12:55 p.m. Sundays, March 8-24
Olympia Little Theatre,
1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia