|by Rachel Flanagan
Could you ever love someone so much that you would kill for them? That is what Jonathan Wicks must ask himself when his wife Angela proposes he commits a double homicide in the world premiere of the Bryan Fox directed Malicious Bunny. He is happy; she is not, and now he must choose whether to grant his wife a divorce or kill to stay together.
Markus Taylor and Heidi-Marie Ferren brilliantly star as Jonathan and Angela Wicks, though it’s hard to believe they’re fresh out of college age. Jonathan is a young but simple janitor trying to make the most for his wife, a now starving artist from a wealthy family. Angela is bored. She wants a divorce to find excitement again, but he is willing to do anything to stay together. After a solo trip to Paris, Angela returns home early recognizing that she sincerely does love Jonathan but craves more in life. She presents her husband with a list of 3 things guaranteed to make her happy. Step one is a doozy: Kill her parents.
Jonathan calls on the help of his old college buddy, Greg (portrayed by Andrew McIntyre in a roll that suites him), in the hopes that he can skip step one and go straight to step 2: become a millionaire. While in Atlantic City, Jonathan asks Greg if he would ever kill anyone. Greg appreciates Jonathan’s friendship enough that he would, without much question, kill for him. Jonathan comes home from his trip more broken than ever, leaving his wife so desperate that she has drafted up divorce papers. Jonathan finally goes to visit Angela’s parents (Jennifer Edwards and Larry Gilman) who are not only irritated by his presence but doing an exceptional job in making anyone want to murder them. The end of a long first act ends with Jonathan saving his marriage but walking away with blood on his hands.
Act two begins, appearing unnecessary since Jonathan proved that he loved his wife enough to kill and make her a millionaire. All that was left was step 3: move to the penthouse apartment after they convince the incompetent, albeit comedic, detectives (Tess Kartel and James Vallejo) that the murder of Angela’s parents was likely related to the mob. Jonathan and Angela finally believe they have found mutual happiness when Greg confronts Jonathan about killing Angela’s parents and asks for a piece of their fortune to keep their secret. Angela, who has never been a fan of Greg, does not want him to have any of their money. Jonathan must ask himself again whether he loves his wife enough to kill or realize that maybe it’s time for them to go their separate ways. Malicious Bunny is about the pursuit of happiness through murder and love
Malicious Bunny is running at The Actors Company thru April 9.