Tale of the Allergist's Wife logoThe Tale of the Allergist's Wife
by Charles Busch

September 5-27, 2003
Directed by R
honda Clark

Playwright 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."

Her husband, 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 motives?

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).

In 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.


(Photos coming soon)



Marjorie Taub

  Betsy Ballard
Ira Taub   Joe Long
Frieda   Suzanne Charney
Lee Green   Vikki Simer
Mohammed   Vinoj Zacharia


Director   Rhonda Clark
Crew   TBA



Cast Sponsors - Steve & Maggie Dixon

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


© 1999-2011, Carpenter Square Theatre.
All original articles, photos, and graphics are copyrighted. All rights reserved