In Broadway’s “The Cottage” Laura Bell Bundy stars as a 1920s British woman who, through a series of naughty, sexy and deliberately melodramatic events, comes to the realization that happiness can be found alone and without the company of a man.
Much like her character, Bundy relishes the excitement of starting a new chapter. “The cottagemarks the Tony-nominated actress’ return to Broadway after 15 years and her first time on the New York stage in a play rather than a musical.
In 2021, after 13 years together in Nashville and Los Angeles, Bundy moved back to the East Coast in hopes of relieving her television producer husband of seeking such theatrical gigs Tom Hinkleand your 4 year old sonhuck.
And when she took her first bow at the Helen Hayes Theater in July alongside The Cottage co-stars Lilli Cooper, Eric McCormack, Nehal Joshi, Alex Moffat and Dana Steingold, she knew she’d made the right decision .
“It was a great opportunity for me to see: Can I fit Broadway into my mother’s life? Does my mother’s life fit Broadway? How does this work? “It was a little experiment,” said Bundy, whose credits include FX’s “anger management‘ and the stage adaptations of ‘hairspray” And “Naturally blondsaid HuffPost. “There were some adjustments I had to make and we had to make as a family, but we made it. I think we figured it out.”
Written by Sandy Rustin“The Cottage” is about Sylvia (played by Bundy) who finds herself in the midst of post-coital bliss after enjoying a once-a-year date in the English countryside with Beau (McCormack), her married lover, her brother-in-law .
On a whim, she decides to inform her husband Clarke (Moffat) and Beau’s wife Marjorie (Cooper) of her indiscretions. Unfortunately for Sylvia, Clarke and Marjorie have a few secrets of their own, as do Deirdre (Steingold) and Richard (Joshi), who are linked to the foursome in unexpected ways.
How Sylvia emerges from this mystery is not to be revealed, but Bundy loved the “beautiful feminist message” conveyed by her character’s actions.
Watch a clip from The Cottage below.
“Women are horny creatures and no one judges them,” she said. “A lot of people watching this play aren’t ready for messages about feminism and they’re like, ‘I had so much fun,’ but they learned something about how a woman sees herself in the world.” that they eat their vegetables because everything is covered in chocolate.”
As for Rustin, she knew right away that she’d found a soulmate in Bundy — who released Women of Tomorrow in 2020, an album of songs depicting a fantastic future of the feminist movement.
The New Jersey-based playwright first wrote The Cottage a decade ago hoping to “explore great female characters” in a Noël Coward-Oscar Wilde-esque situation comedy she hoped to star in. After several regional productions, she began to sharpen the play’s pro-feminist message—and felt even more committed to doing so after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.
“Obviously, our world has changed dramatically in the last decade,” she said. “After the 2016 election, I took another look and thought, ‘Yes, these women were there 100 years ago, but is what they wanted that different from what we want today?’ And I think the answer is no.”
She further noted, “A lot of the work I’ve done over the last five to eight years has been finding subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, ways to weave the strength of the female voice into this piece, deep in the.” comedy of that era.”
Both Bundy and Rustin are credit directors and “comedy guru” Jason Alexander with the aim of keeping the piece grounded in reality despite its many whimsical elements.
“We both have a penchant for broad comedy, so we hit it off,” Bundy said of the Seinfeld veteran. “I trusted him and felt like I had the freedom to explore new things and when I was struggling to make something fun he always knew how to solve it.”
Rustin added, “He’s made studying comedy his career. So having his perspective and experience in the rehearsal room was invaluable.”
The Cottage is currently scheduled to run on Broadway through October 29. Following her final performance in the play, Bundy hopes to seek “opportunities for countless more plays and musicals” now that she’s showcased her musical and dramatic talent in Chops on stage.
Meanwhile, Rustin remains committed to “embarking on new projects that will help advance the voice of women.” Previously, she adapted the cult board game film “Notice” and the romantic comedy “Mystical Pizza” for the stage, both of which have been successfully staged in a number of regional theaters across the country.
She is also working on another feminist farce, The Suffragette’s Murder, and the romantic comedy Houston, which will feature music by Grammy Award-winning actress Edie Brickell.
Rustin’s ultimate goal as a playwright is “to make people in the theater happy and have a great night.” So she says she’s grateful if she continues to do so with a work that offers “wonderful roles for women” and espouses a “strong, woman-centric” narrative.
“There’s a desire to sit in the theater and forget the last few years and just laugh,” she explained. “This play accomplishes all of those things while giving these comedic actresses a playground to have fun in. For me, this is a driving force in my work.”