Lakeland College’s Theatre Company to present “The House of the Blue Leaves”
Student Production - posted on 11/4/2005
Lakeland College's Theatre Company will tackle the dysfunctional Shaugnessy family in John Gaure's fast-paced dark comedy "The House of the Blue Leaves" on Nov. 10-12.
Curtain is at 8 p.m. each evening in the auditorium of the Bradley Fine Arts Building on the Lakeland campus. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for non-Lakeland students and can be purchased at the door.
The main character of this 1968 social commentary is New York zoo attendant Artie Shaugnessy (Eric Rautmann), who desperately wants a change in his life. He dreams of living in Hollywood as a songwriter with his mistress, Bunny Flingus (Holly Zielinski), and without his insane wife, Bananas Shaugnessy (Jessica Larson).
The plot thickens thanks to a trip to New York by the Pope, Artie's son (Eric Adcock ) going AWOL from the army and three frost-bitten nuns searching for a television, as Artie struggles to place his wife in a mental hospital, a hospital with "beautiful blue leaves."
Veteran Lakeland theater professor James Crawford directs these productions and designed the set. Other cast members include Andrea Briggs, Staci Abrahamson, Rebecca Luce, Elizabeth Burrus, Paul Davis, Jason Kopf, Christopher Lee, Heather Gayton and Ali Ozygit.
"The House of Blue Leaves" was first produced at the Truck and Warehouse Theatre in New York City on Feb. 11, 1971. It won the New York Drama Critics Award as the Best American Play of the Year, as well as an Obie Award as the Best Off-Broadway production of the year.
Harold Gould, Anne Meara, Katherine Helmond and Frank Converse were cast members in that first production. The play was re-staged on Broadway in 1987, and Swoozie Kurtz won a Tony Award as Best Actress for her role of Bananas in that production. Ben Stiller, John Mahoney and Julie Hagerty were also members of the revival cast.
Guare's plays include "Six Degrees of Separation" (1990 Obie Award and New York Drama Critics Award as Best Play), "Marco Polo Sings a Solo," "Landscape of the Body" (1978 Dramatists Guild Award as Best Play) and "Four Baboons Avoiding the Sun." He wrote the book and lyrics for "Two Gentlemen of Verona" (1972 New York Drama Critics Award and Tony Award as Best Musical).
He also wrote the screenplay for "Atlantic City," which received an Oscar nomination. In 1981, he received the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He now serves on the Executive Council of the Dramatists Guild.
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