After a year-long $30 million renovation, the new Taper will re-light with Blues Leaves previews starting Aug. 30 toward an opening of Sept. 14. The dark comedy about American dreamers in Sunnyside, Queens, will continue through Oct. 19.
The cast features (in alphabetical order) Diedrich Bader (TV's "The Drew Carey Show"), Mia Barron (Lincoln Center's The Coast of Utopia), Kate Burton (Broadway's Hedda Gabler, The Constant Wife), Angela Goethals (Broadway's Picnic, Off-Broadway's The Good Times Are Killing Me), James B. Harnagel, James Immekus, Jane Kaczmarek (TV's "Malcolm in the Middle"), James Joseph O'Neil, John Pankow (TV's "Mad About You," Broadway's Amadeus, Twelve Angry Men), Rusty Schwimmer and Mary Kay Wulf.
In The House of Blue Leaves, according to Center Theatre Group, which produces work at the Taper, "the Pope's 1965 visit to New York City brings the hope of answered prayers and a few unexpected guests to an apartment in Sunnyside, Queens, where Artie Shaughnessy, a zookeeper, pines for a new life as a popular songwriter. His dreams of stardom are complicated by a stay-at-home wife who longs for the happiness of their salad days, a pushy mistress who is already packing her bags for Hollywood and an AWOL son with his own plans for becoming famous."
It's billed as "a heartbreakingly human comedy that explores the lengths people will go in pursuit of the American Dream."
The creative team includes set designer David Korins, costume designer Gabriel Berry, lighting designer Donald Holder and sound designer Philip G. Allen. Music and lyrics are by John Guare with additional music and arrangements by Michael Friedman. Casting is by Erika Sellin, and the production stage manager is James T. McDermott.
The play's New York City premiere was in 1971 at Off-Broadway's Truck and Warehouse Theatre. Lincoln Center Theater made a Broadway hit out of it in 1986, and the production was subsequently taped for broadcast. The LCT staging earned 1986 Tonys for performers John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz, director Jerry Zaks and set designer Tony Walton. It was also nominated for Best Play.
For tickets and information call (213) 628-2772 or visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Music Center. Hot Tix may be purchased at $20 each in advance or, subject to availability, on the day of performance at the box office. For groups of 15 or more, call (213) 972-7231.