What Is the Story of The House of Blue Leaves?
Set in Sunnyside, Queens, on the day Pope Paul VI visited New York in 1965, The House of Blue Leaves centers on zookeeper and would-be songwriter Artie Shaughnessy. Desperate to escape life with his schizophrenic wife, Bananas, Artie is having an affair with his flamboyant neighbor, Bunny Flingus. The ambitious Bunny hatches a plan to commit Bananas and move to Hollywood so that Artie can collaborate with his childhood friend Billy Einhorn, who grew up to be a famous film director. Also on the scene are Artie and Bananas’ troubled son, a deaf movie actress and a trio of excitable nuns. By the end of this historic day, whose dreams will come true?
What Is The House of Blue Leaves Like?
John Guare’s play, first performed off-Broadway in 1971, is a crazy mix of comedy and tragedy, truth and absurdity. This Broadway revival brings together movie star Ben Stiller (who played the son in a 1986 Broadway production of the play) as Artie, Emmy winner Edie Falco as Bananas and indie movie star Jennifer Jason Leigh as Bunny. The three actors collide in the Shaughnessys’ comically shabby apartment, and matters turn farcical in act two when almost every character in the play ends up in the same room. The play explores themes that are as fresh today as they were 40 years ago: the power of celebrity, the desire for fame and the longing to escape to a better life.
Is The House of Blue Leaves Good for Kids?
Kids can’t grasp the dark comedy of this play, which includes jokes about mental illness and two sudden and unexpected instances of violence. John Guare’s absurdist classic is for teens and adults only.