Playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre at 218 West 48th Street. It opened on April 25, 2011 and will run until July 23, 2011.
The play first opened in February 10, 1971 at the off Broadway Truck & Warehouse Theatre and ran for 337 performances. In 1986 the revival played at the Mitizi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center and then transfered to the Vivian Beaumont Theatre where it played for five months before transfering to the Plymouth Theatre for a total run of 398 performances.. It won a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Revival. It also was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Ben Stiller mother Anne Meara played Bunny in the orginal production.
In an article in Vogue by Valerie Steiker said in the 1986 production "Stiller making his professional stage debut after almost three years of slogging to auditions while living home with his parents . 25 years, 43 movies and $5 billion in world wide grosses later, returns to The House Of Blue Leaves playing his orginial characters father." " When I told my parents that I was doing this he said, "Don't be ridiculous -you're are too young to play Artie," Stiller says I said "Mom, Dad, you'd better sit down-I'm 45."
The play takes place in Queens, New York during the visit of Pope Paul VI.
Artie Shaughnessy (Ben Stiller) is a wanna be singer/song writter. He's a zoo keeper by profession. His mistress Bunny Flingus (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is pushing him to divorce his wife and go to California. His childhood friend Billy Einhorn (Thomas Sadoski) is well known in Hollywood. He hopes he can help him. The only problem is Arties has no talent. Arties wife Bananas (Edie Falco) is mentally ill. He's looking to put her some where so that he can leave.
His son Ronnie leaves the military base without permission and hides in his parents apartment. His mission is to kill the pope, to prove he is important.
The weather is foul and three nuns seek refuge In Arties apartment after trying to view the popes motorcade from his roof. There escapades in his apartment amusing, and are played by Susan Bennet, Halley Feiffer and Mary Ann Hurt
Plot twist and turns make for an enjoyable revival
Ben Stillar plays the character well. Edie Falco is outstanding and deserves her Tony nomination for her role as Bananas.
Thomas Sadoski straight from his Obie Award for Other Desert Cities does a great job again.
The final scene which has to do with his son does not makes any sense. but I don't want to say more and ruin the ending. Despite this you'll have good time seeing this show.
The settinig is eye-catching especially if you are seating in heaven (balcony) pardon the pun. not only do you seen the apartment but the roof and all the details. Scott Park did the scenic design. He won a Tony for The Pillowman.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor