The House of Blue Leaves

This play in Dodge City was set in Sunnyside, Queens in 1965, on the day Pope Paul VI visited New York City. This dark comedy featured a zookeeper who dreams of making it big in Hollywood as a songwriter, his wife Bananas, their son – a GI headed for Vietnam, a trio of nuns, Artie’s friend – Billy Einhorn, Artie’s girlfriend – Bunny Flingus, and Billy’s girlfriend & Hollywood starlet – Corinna Stroller. Artie, a songwriter with little talent, performs unsuccessfully at the El Dorado Bar & Grill and returns to his cramped apartment in Queens. While protesting that he is “too old to be a young talent” – he calls his friend Billy and finagles an invitation to Hollywood where he thought he could be more successful.

Elated by his good fortune, Artie invites his girlfriend Bunny and his wife Bananas to join him in his curbside seats for the Pope’s motorcade. Unbeknownst to all, while they are away, their AWOL son returns to the apartment with plans to assassinate the Pope. The plot is interrupted when Artie returns to the apartment with starlet – Corinna. Artie attempts an impromptu audition with Corinna but is interrupted by the entrance of three nuns unable to see the motorcade and wanting to see it on TV. Corinna announces that she has two tickets to the Pope’s Mass at Yankee Stadium. In the pandemonium that ensures, Ronnie’s bomb goes off. In the aftermath, Billy arrives from Hollywood to mourn the explosion. Artie takes advantage of the sad circumstances with a desperate move to realize his own dreams. However, life unfolds with unexpected results for each character and Artie ultimately finds himself confined to his apartment with Bananas and one final decision to make. The House of Blue Leaves originally opened on February 10, 1971 in Off-Broadway New York City where it ran for 337 performances. It was performed by the Boot Hill Museum Repertory Company from October 24 -November 3, 1985.

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