05/04/2011 06:35 pm ET | Updated Jul 04, 2011

House of Blue Leaves on Broadway: No Kindness From Stranger

Bananas may be bananas in the revival of John Guare's play The House of Blue Leaves directed by David Cromer at the Walter Kerr Theater, but in the scheme of this wry drama, set in 1965 Sunnyside, Queens, she looks appropriately far gone. As performed by Edie Falco in a fright wig, whose work was just nominated for a Tony for "Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play," Bananas pops pills and rolls her bug eyes, taking a cue from Falco's character on Showtime's Nurse Jackie.

When you meet her husband Artie Shaughnessy (Ben Stiller) and his girlfriend Bunny (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a scheming couple with ample dreams of fame and limited talent, you can see why they would want Bananas out of the way. Stiller must work hard to be so good at singing mediocre. Enter a gorgeous blond movie star, Corrinna (Alison Pill), the Shaughnessy's son Ronnie (Christopher Abbott in a role originated by a young Ben Stiller), a kid with a few issues, and Artie's successful friend Billy Einhorn (Thomas Sadoski).

The nutsy quotient is amplified by the entrance through a barred window of a trio of nuns hoping to see the Pope, who is planning a visit. Yes, that Pope. The "little nun" is maybe a head taller than the other two, with a hilarious Halley Feiffer in her Broadway debut. She is antic and sour-faced even as she leaves her calling, and reason enough to see this zany play that by end, turns surprisingly poignant.

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