Bonney has already been at the helm of two productions this season, a revival of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger at the Classic Stage Company and Anna Deavere Smith's House Arrest at The Public. Her third effort is Eric Bogosian's upcoming one-man show, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, at the Jane Street Theater. But Bonney is more than familiar with Bogosian's fast paced, scathing, one-man rants; she has already done three shows with him, and is also his wife of 18 years.
As per usual, Bogosian's latest effort will look at the broad landscape of American culture, through his very unique lens. Pop culture, the media, our fears and desires will all be examined through a variety of characters and the delectably angry "character" of Bogosian himself. For the uninitiated to his work, there is simply nothing quite like it. In some ways, Bogosian is the creator of the modern rant. His energy and intelligence are unparalleled in the world of solo performance. And he has picked up several Obies for his shows, including, Pounding Nails into the Floor With My Forehead; Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll; and Drinking in America.
"This show is a little different from the others," says Bonney. "It is more stream of consciousness. The characters are more free flowing, more energetic, and there are lots of opportunities for improvisation." The audience will get to "enter into Eric's head and sort of see how he thinks," adds Bonney with a smile. Her smile is a little wicked, a little knowing, and is perhaps the best advertisement for Bogosian's show yet.
The Bonney/Bogosian collaboration was something that "evolved naturally" according to Bonney. She came to New York over twenty years ago by way of Australia and England and what she mysteriously describes as "ten years of traveling". Bonney did not set out to become a theater director. Her first years in New York were taken up with experimental film work, which Bonney sums up as part of the whole punk era. After she met and later married Bogosian, she began consulting Bogosian on his plays (he was initially a playwright). When Bogosian began writing solo work, Bonney continued to offer advice, and in her words, "One thing lead to another, and it just seemed right that I should direct his work."