Ben Stiller is coming full circle, returning to Broadway in the spring of 2011 in John Guare‘s The House of Blue Leaves. Stiller and his co-star Edie Falco will play Queens couple Artie and “Bananas” Shaughnessy in the comedy, which centers around the Pope’s 1965 visit to New York City. Artie Shaughnessy (Stiller), is a zookeeper who longs to be a songwriter. His life in Queens involves his schizophrenic stay-at-home wife Bananas (Falco), his mistress Bunny and an absent son.
Stiller‘s family has a history with Guare‘s play. His mother Anne Meara, performed in the 1971 premiere of the play off-Broadway, playing Bunny Flingus. Stiller made his Broadway debut as son Ronnie Shaughnessy in the 1986 Lincoln Center revival, which earned Tony Awards for performers John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz, director Jerry Zaks and set designer Tony Walton. It was also nominated for Best Play.
“So now to come back and play the father, it’s kind of come full circle in that way,” Stiller said of his upcoming performance. “It’s something I never really thought about doing until the idea got presented to me.”
The production will be directed by David Cromer, known for the acclaimed off-Broadway production of Our Town at the Barrow Street Theater.
“I really am a fan of the director, and I’m excited to delve into it,” Stiller said. “It’s kind of an unknown thing but I’m looking forward to it.”