Ben Stiller and Edie Falco will team up for a spring 2011 Broadway revival of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, according to a Deadline.com report that was later confirmed by a production spokesperson. The pair will play married Queens couple Artie and "Bananas" Shaughnessy in the comedy, which enjoyed an acclaimed revival by Lincoln Center Theater in 1986 that earned Tony Awards for John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz in the same roles.
The House of Blue Leaves is not unfamiliar territory for Stiller. At the age of 20, he starred as son Ronnie Shaughnessy in the last revival, his only Broadway appearance to date. Even earlier, mother Anne Meara played Bunny Flingus in the 1971 premiere of the play off-Broadway at the now-defunct Truck and Warehouse Theater.
An accomplished actor, writer and director, Stiller is best known for his performances in Hollywood films like Reality Bites, Flirting with Disaster, Your Friends and Neighbors, Permanent Midnight, Meet the Parents (as well as its sequel Meet the Fockers), Zoolander, The Royal Tenanbaums, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Madagascar, Night at the Museum (and its sequel, Battle at the Smithsonian) and Greenberg. He will be seen in the upcoming Meet the Parents sequel, Little Fockers. Among his directing credits are the films Reality Bites, The Cable Guy, Zoolander and Tropic Thunder. He was also seen off-Broadway in the 2005 Neil LaBute play This Is How It Goes.
Edie Falco received a 2010 Emmy Award for her performance in the acclaimed Showtime series Nurse Jackie. She was last seen on the New York stage earlier this year in the Naked Angels' production of This Wide Night and is best known for the long-running HBO series The Sopranos and her appearances on Broadway in Side Man, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and 'Night Mother.
Centered around the Pope's 1965 visit to New York City, The House of Blue Leaves centers around Artie Shaughnessy (Stiller), a zookeeper who dreams of being a big-time songwriter whose middle-class Queens existence is filled with colorful characters including his schizophrenic stay-at-home wife Bananas (Falco), his vivacious mistress Bunny and an AWOL son with dreams of his own.
Deadline.com reports that The House of Blue Leaves could land at the Walter Kerr Theatre, currently home to A Little Night Music.