Tale of the Allergist's Wife
September 5-27, 2003
Directed by Rhonda
Charles Busch makes mirth out of misery in his comedy
THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE, which opens
Carpenter Square Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season.
The hilarious story of a New York culture vulture on the verge of a nervous
breakdown plays September 5 - 27, 2003 in the arena
theater at Stage Center, located at 400 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.
As the play
opens, Marjorie Taub is mourning the death of her shrink and nursing her wounds
from her violent outburst in the Disney Store. Her husband Ira complains,
"Within three minutes, you dropped six porcelain figurines… The Goofy alone was
two hundred fifty dollars. They thought you were making some kind of political
statement about the Disney Corporation."
recently retired from his regular allergy practice, is irritatingly fulfilled by
his adoring university students and his free clinic for the homeless. Her mother
Frieda is hopelessly preoccupied with her digestive
tract. Her daughters are grown and scattered around the globe. Not even her
confidante, the building doorman, and his shared interest in fine literature
brightens her days anymore. Marjorie has given up her dream of being a novelist
and feels hopelessly lost. "Perdu!" she cries.
Enter Lee Green,
a long lost friend from Marjorie's Brooklyn childhood. Lee truly seems an
international woman of mystery. She's seductive and exotic. She rattles off
outrageous stories about her series of eclectic jobs, various celebrities and
Marjorie's cultural heroes. At this point, Lee seems to be a busy fundraiser for
a political organization. Marjorie is mesmerized. Lee
revives Marjorie's zest for life, and soon moves into the Taub's Upper Westside
apartment where she proceeds to play havoc with the family's social and sexual
lives. All along she's so charming that who would suspect she has ulterior
THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE is playwright Charles
Busch's first script to play on Broadway, although he has long held a cult
following as an actor and female impersonator in New York's Off Broadway and
Off-Off Broadway theater scene. In past seasons,
Carpenter Square presented his plays THE LADY IN QUESTION
(a take-off on WW II espionage movies) and PSYCHO BEACH PARTY
(a combination of a 60s surfer movie and a teen slasher pic that opened as a
film in 2000).
ALLERGIST, Mr. Busch mined the rich veins of his own
eccentric family. He said, "This was one of the few times I'd looked at my own
suburban Jewish background and the people I grew up with in Hartsdale and
Westchester. I identify with the character of Marjorie whose dilemma is that she
wants to be an intellectual." The character of the mother Frieda is a composite
of his Aunt Belle and his late Aunt Lillian. "It's wild to hear the audience
roaring with laughter at things Aunt Belle said that left us shocked and
appalled." Busch took home the 2000 John Gassner Playwright Award given by the
Outer Critics Circle for his comedy.