by John Guare
at Center Stage – 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz
See the play the Wall Street Journal recently hailed as “A modern masterpiece. Wildly funny, yet you go home feeling stunned. One of the best American plays of the 20th Century.”
Set in Sunnyside, Queens, on the day Pope Paul VI visited New York in 1965, The House of Blue Leaves centers on Artie Shaughnessy, a zookeeper who dreams of making it big in Hollywood as a songwriter for the movies with the help of his childhood friend, film director Billy Einhorn. Desperate for a better life with Bunny, his flamboyant neighbor, Artie must first deal with his schizophrenic wife (aptly named Bananas), his AWOL son, a trio of impulsive nuns, and a hard-of-hearing movie star, all looking to make their own dreams come true. At once dark and zany,
House is one of Guare’s most powerful works, presenting timeless, dramatic themes – the power of celebrity, the desire for fame, and the longing to escape to a better life – in a screwball comedy plot.