House of Blue Leaves, The by John Guare

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 11 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

On the day the Pope is expected to visit, hearts are palpitating in the sleepy borough of Queens, but not entirely on account of His Holiness. Bunny Flingus, a femme-fatale from Flushing (or thereabouts) is stirring things up in the quiet, unfulfilled life of aspiring songwriter Artie Shaughnessy. Artie longs to leave his unhappy marriage, elope with Bunny, and write a hit song that will top the charts.

A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Mary Teresa Fortuna, Sharon Gless, Deb Gottesman, Christopher Lane, Ron Leibman, Cam Magee, Jennifer Mendenhall, Jessica Walter, Michael Willis

 

About John Guare

See more books from this Author
Born of Irish Catholic parents in New York City, Guare was an only child. His parents led intense but somewhat separate lives and young Guare found himself increasingly alone as he grew up. He spent his childhood reading, listening to albums of Broadway musicals, and writing plays. His first play was presented in a neighbor's garage when he was eleven. Guare first came to public attention with his one-act play Muzeeka (1968), a biting social satire about an ambitious man who works for a canned-music company that inflicts its banal arrangements on the entire country. The hero, Jack Argue, is a modern guilt-ridden "Everyman" who has sold himself out to the system. The play was first performed at Connecticut's Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theatre, then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. On April 28, 1968, it opened off-Broadway at the Provincetown Playhouse on a double bill with Sam Shepard's Red Cross. Muzeeka ran for 65 performances and earned its author an Obie Award that year. The House of Blue Leaves (1971), Guare's first full-length play, is set in a Queens apartment on the day the Pope is making his first visit to New York City. A savage farce, The House of Blue Leaves presents an unrelenting attack on lower middle-class values. It shows the emptiness of the characters' inner lives and the horror of their senseless acts of violence. The play won both an Obie and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1971. In 1986 it enjoyed a highly successful revival at New York's Lincoln Center, which further established Guare as a unique and critically acclaimed American playwright. His more recent plays, such as Six Degrees of Separation (1990), show the playwright turning toward a more tragic outlook. Critics have been almost universal in their praise of Guare's screenplay for Louis Malle's film, Atlantic City (1981). Although not published in book form, the Canadian-French film has been distributed by Paramount in the United States. It is a bittersweet, Runyonesque tale about a small-time numbers runner, played by Burt Lancaster, and a small-town waitress, played by Susan Sarandon. Atlantic City received a number of honors, including best-screenplay awards by the National Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Society, and the New York Film Critics Circle.
 
Published March 1, 1987 by Plume. 254 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for House of Blue Leaves, The

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

Martin is the new Artistic Director of Williamstown, the old home of the Taper's current Artistic Director Michael Ritchie.

Sep 18 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

The Telegraph

Ben Stiller as father Artie is compelling as a grown-up version of the likable losers he specialises in playing on the big screen.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

Oregon Live

Structurally tighter and more disciplined than other Guare plays including those offered in this year's Profile Theatre's season, "Blue Leaves" still abounds in the free-wheeling absurdist humor that is so much a part of his dramatic style.

May 18 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

North Jersey

He's planning to pack her off to a mental asylum – the house of blue leaves – so he can take off with his girlfriend.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

North Jersey

It was first produced 40 years ago, but John Guare's play, which opened in a strong revival Monday at the Walter Kerr Theatre, could have been written yesterday.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

The Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK – Ben Stiller and Edie Falco give affecting performances in The House of Blue Leaves, their characterizations freighted with a melancholy history of affection, friction and affliction.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

Broad Street Review

Artie, miserably married to the agoraphobic/schizophrenic Bananas (played with aching delicacy by Edie Falco), is now smitten with their neighbor Bunny, a self-acclaimed gourmet cook (played by a wifty Jennifer Jason Leigh).

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

Philly.com

Artie wistfully describes a tree covered with blue leaves, and then describes how the magical turned out to be merely the prosaic as the bluebirds flew away, leaving ordinary green leaves.

Mar 04 2012 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

It sometimes feels like Cromer and his fine actors are searching for a core that the play already has considered and dismissed.” [Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune] “The quirky 40-year-old play, whose Broadway revival opened on Monday night at the Walter Kerr Theatre, is blessed with an A-list cast ...

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

TheaterMania

(© Craig Schwartz) Easily the first thing to catch the eye when walking into the house of the newly refurbished Mark Taper Forum, which is being inaugurated by Nicholas Martin's less-than-exciting revival of John Guare's 1970 play, The House of Blue Leaves, is the big blue glittery curtain enci...

Sep 15 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

TheaterMania

Nor are they the only unexpected guests: there's Artie's mistress and downstairs neighbor Bunny Flingus (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the Shaughnessys' 18-year-old son Ronnie (Christopher Abbott), AWOL from the military and hoping to detonate a home-made bomb in front of the Pope, deaf starlet Corinna ...

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of House of Blue Leaves, The

Reader Rating for House of Blue Leaves, The
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×