Members say: Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Refreshing, Delightful

About the show

UnionDocs presents Alison S.M. Kobayashi's multi-media solo piece inspired by an amateur audio recording made over 60 years ago.

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The origin of this audio was a mystery. Two spools of thin steel wire were found tucked inside an obsolete sound device purchased by a collector at an estate sale. There were no labels; no dates, no names, and no context. Through her obsessive research and active imagination, Kobayashi decodes the rich dialogue in the recording and discovers the detailed history of a Jewish family from New York that bursts with humor, surprise, and drama. The one-woman show annotates, illustrates, and reconstructs the scenes of the recording, while revealing the stranger-than-fiction biography of the eldest son, David, who made the wire recordings. Using video, installation, performance and plentiful archival material, Kobayashi leads the audience through a close listening of this multigenerational tale.



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95
Theatre is Easy

"Hands down the best theatre experience of the 2017-2018 season...You should just buy a ticket now—any serious theatre-goer needs to see this show. 'Say Something Bunny!' is unlike anything I’ve seen—both daringly experimental and incredibly accessible, it is one of the only times I’ve ever left a show vowing to return...At its core, one of the most enjoyable mysteries I’ve encountered in a very long time...The amount you learn by the end of the evening is astounding." Full Review

95
Interludes

"The piece is pure genius, unfurling with the the utmost grace, wit, and intelligence (I loved the show’s endless parade of visual and audio gags!). Indeed, the performance I attended exuded whimsical good humor and was a joy to partake in. Technically and aesthetically, the show is a marvel. The amount of detail that went into creating this out-of-the-box experience is nothing short of astonishing...I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it." Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

"One of the oddest and most captivating entertainments of the new season...Kobayashi's warm, sympathetic presence draws the audience in...Working together, she and her team have conjured -- almost out of thin air -- a one-of-a-kind performance piece that speaks volumes about families, changing times, and middle-class life in America in its post-World War II heyday." Full Review

90
The New York Times

“A suburban family invites the neighbors to dinner...It sounds punishingly ordinary. It is. It is also an out-and-out thrill...Ms. Kobayashi’s tender obsession is as catching as the chickenpox, and if the piece is forthrightly funny and briefly pornographic, it is also sneakily moving...'Say Something Bunny!' is about more than the particulars. It’s a low-key ontological thriller about how we live and what we leave and how we account for ourselves when some kid comes at us with a microphone.” Full Review

90
Show Showdown

“I was particularly taken by ‘Say Something Bunny!’…Not only visually appealing, but it's also gentle, smart, and warm. It simultaneously paints a vivid portrait of a family and brilliantly reflects the artist's obsession with—even love for—said family, which she has partly and painstakingly documented, and partly invented…It is an impressive, extraordinarily well-researched and executed piece, that manages as well to be deeply touching and quite funny…An amazing accomplishment.” Full Review

90
The Culture Trip

"The everyday becomes enthralling in 'Say Something Bunny!,' a surprising new show that discovers compelling mysteries where the most intrepid sleuths wouldn’t expect to find them...A highly entertaining performance that takes the audience on her journey. It provides the thrill of storytelling with all the excitement of a mystery...The audience slowly feels the emotional force of Kobayashi’s work and inevitably begins to care about the Newburges." Full Review

90
Yes Broadway

“Captivating...It feels more like an experience than a performance. It is unique and very, very, very cool!...Projected videos and personal phone-sized digital screens enhance Alison's performance perfectly...'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.” Full Review

90
No Proscenium

"The captivating Kobayashi happens also to be a time traveler and shapeshifter, who literally plays the part of every person who touches the Newburge family’s narrative, however briefly...The experience is surreal and feels completely original...These typical, ordinary lives of the Newburge family feel extraordinarily real. Because it’s 1952 again and we are all piled inside in a cozy little house in Windmere, a place brightly lit and filled with love and warmth and music and cake." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"The personalization of the experience caused the line between performer and spectator to blur to such an extreme degree that I almost forgot where I was. I've never experienced a feeling quite like that before, and it's all thanks to Kobayashi's gentle demeanor and dedication to finding the truth...While you might not have seen theater like this before, once you start listening, you can't get enough of the story that unfolds." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

“The play unspools unhurriedly, leaving space for Kobayashi to make jokes, play short films and highlight points of historical interest. It takes a while for it to sink in that—of course—many of these vibrant people must be long dead. The experience of ‘Say Something Bunny!’ is light, sweet, funny and dear. But Kobayashi’s deep humanism has a way of moving you, even days later. She sifts through the details of strangers’ lives, a prospector who knows that the sand itself is precious.” Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

"Kobayashi marshals an ethnographer’s appreciation for cultural and historical context, a genealogist’s relish for placing relations on a family tree, a private investigator’s instincts to follow any lead and connect all the dots, and a storyteller’s flair for filling in the empty spaces. But it also says something about her capacity for empathy. This isn’t just a project to her; it’s a family’s lives she is holding in her hands." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"'Say Something Bunny!' sits comfortably at the juncture of historical research, fiction, documentary, and performance art...Kobayashi’s success turns on both her extensive, iterative approach to her research as well as her charismatic ability to commit herself completely to reenactments of dozens of characters from the audio...Her performance infuses new life into what otherwise might be an easily overlooked piece of personal ephemera that gets thrown out in the trash." Full Review

85
Now Toronto

for a previous production “‘Say Something Bunny!’ digs deep into the early 1950s through recordings of a Jewish family from Long Island that a friend unearthed at a New York City estate sale…The project is a work of profound empathy, lending meaning and drama to ordinary lives and inviting us to join the artist in inhabiting people from another time and culture.” Full Review

85
Art F City

for a previous production “A multigenerational yarn of Rothian heights…Throughout the installation, Kobayashi renders the facts that define the lives of these idiosyncratic cast of characters, who are deeply felt and most remarkably, close and real...Even without the content, the presentation alone would be compelling...She herself describes the project as being informed by 'amateur historical research.' But with those imperfections she brings humanity and life to her subjects." Full Review


100
Exquisite, Intelligent, Moving, Warm, One of the most unique theatrical experiences i have had

See it if you want to have a unique experience in the theatre. Kobayashi investigates a Jewish family in the 1950's, and slowly reveals their history

Don't see it if you don't like intelligent or unusual theatre.

Also "Say Something Bunny" is one of the very best plays of this season. Do... Read more Read less

97
Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if You love theatrical brilliance. It is truly a one of a kind experience done with such thought and caring - I was so impressed.

Don't see it if You like linear plays only

95
Delightful, Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Riveting

See it if You want to see something truly fascinating that really draws you in - a must see

Don't see it if You have trouble reading or following along from a book

95
Absorbing, Delightful, Must see, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if You enjoy unique theatrical experiences. It's unlike anything else: Part play, part art installation, and part living history.

Don't see it if You don't like interactive shows. You don't have to participate in any way, but the setting is very intimate and demands full engagement.

Also DON'T READ ANY OF THE FEATURES ON IT. Going in fully blind is the best... Read more Read less

95
Clever, Enchanting, Epic, Profound, Resonant

See it if Delving into two old recordings transports us to the past and celebrates the richness of life. Unique take on family, time and mortality.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in multimedia nonfiction performance art. You don't have the patience for a 2 1/2 hour experience.

Also Altered my perspective on life. The ordinary can be extraordinary. Aud... Read more Read less

95
Ambitious, Must see, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You delight in watching mysteries unfold right before your eyes. What a fascinating journey! Don't miss this - utterly original, delightful!

Don't see it if You want a traditional theater experience. Having said that, go see this show anyway! You'll be glad you did!

95
Original, Clever, Profound, Refreshing, Fascinating

See it if You want a completely original performance piece. Like being a part of a live unfolding documentary. So good. So original.

Don't see it if You are looking for a play or musical. This is not that. If you don't like performance shows.

94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Unique

See it if you are open to a different experience, an historical exploration that is part play, part performance art. Clever use of technology.

Don't see it if you only like fully-produced plays/musicals, or would be uncomfortable in an intimate setting

94
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful

See it if You want to see theatre that is outside of a proscenium. This is a show that engages and is entertaining in a surprising way.

Don't see it if You don't like theatre that is not "traditional".

93
Absorbing, Ambitious, Moving, Entertaining, Extraordinary

See it if you want to go on a compelling trip, orchestrated by the marvelous Alison Kabayashi.

Don't see it if your tastes don't allow for something extraordinary. This is not a play; it's an enveloping experience.

Also Because my age, ethnicity and geographical upbringing closely mirror t... Read more Read less

93
Refreshing, Fascinating, Masterful multi-media design

See it if you're open to a completely unique, painstakingly researched, funny and humanizing performance, up close and personal.

Don't see it if you're not interested in complicated New York-centric family histories.

Also I have never seen anything like this, and I truly loved it. Only 24 pe... Read more Read less

92
Original, Ambitious, Enchanting, Riveting, Intimate

See it if you're up for something completely different; you enjoy sleuthing; you like mysteries; you enjoy multimedia pieces.

Don't see it if you like traditional fare; you want to be in a real theater; the idea of reading along for the entire evening does not appeal to you.

Also This was so different, and delightful. Intimate, with a very small aud... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Intelligent, Must see, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want to see an original and unique performance.

Don't see it if you don't like to read.

Also I think this is the future of storytelling. A play this days cannot be... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Refreshing, Unusual, Intimate, Almost indescribable

See it if you like unique and original theatrical experiences. You enjoy learning about ordinary people's lives.

Don't see it if you prefer more traditional theater. You don't like intimate and immersive experiences (although there is no audience participation).

Also It's really hard to describe this show. It's more than theater. I felt... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Exquisite

See it if you want a truly unique evening of theatrical entertainment that is sure to move you - I've never seen anything like it, long may it run!

Don't see it if you only want 'traditional' theatre, this is very different. Some hard hitting moments, but only because it is so real.

Also People throw around 'unique' a lot these days, but this truly is uniqu... Read more Read less

91
Funny, Absorbing, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if 1 family history; very different, entertaining. Only 24 people a show.

Don't see it if Not a musical, it about a family.

Also When I order the ticket for this show I have no idea what it was about... Read more Read less

91
Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky

See it if you want to see an interdisciplinary piece of art; enjoy intimate, human stories; indulge in nostalgia

Don't see it if don't have patience for occasional meandering

90
Masterful, Immersive, Compelling, Unique, Innovative

See it if if you are into intimate and innovative performance art. This is different than anything else out there! It makes you think.

Don't see it if if you don't like experimental theater and prefer to be a passive audience member.

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You like going into a show not knowing what to expect. Very unique, very absorbing, very winning show.

Don't see it if You are looking for something more run-of-the-mill--this is a really unique experience.

90
Original, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Unexpected

See it if you want something unexpected and completely different from traditional theatre, interested in family histories and storytelling

Don't see it if you like traditional theatre; are uncomfortable with group participation

Also Worth seeing solely for the originality of the concept. And the creato... Read more Read less

90
Enchanting, Quirky, Entertaining, Performance art, Completely original

See it if You are interested in a completely different intimate immersive theatre-like experience. No active participation required.

Don't see it if You do not have an open mind and are interested in only traditional theatre.

Also This production is completely original and unique. It is best to appro... Read more Read less

90
Delightful, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy seeing theater in new, fresh and unique ways.

Don't see it if You struggle with reading. You are offended by brief discussions about pornography.

90
Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you would enjoy the discovery and revelation of a group of family and friends as reflected in two 60 year old wire recordings

Don't see it if if you want glitz, action, sets, more than a very intelligent one woman show

90
Absorbing, Clever, Dizzying, Riveting, Immersive

See it if you’re a fan of verité documentaries or experimental theatre, or love the idea that everyone has a story to tell. This will stay with me.

Don't see it if you can’t do experimental works or can’t read well (there’s a lot of reading involved).

90
Delightful, Profound, Refreshing, Personal, Intimate

See it if you like Americana, history, & storytelling. An intimate setting of 20 people being told a fascinating, personal story of an unknown family.

Don't see it if you like toe-tapping spectacle or big idea plays. This is a brief glimpse of a moment in time thru the lens of the woman who discovered it.

Also Our narrator is like the perfect cocktail party host, smiling, genuine... Read more Read less



Cast & Creatives (5)