Artie Shaughnessy, a zookeeper and would-be songwriter. Obsessed by a need to be famous, forty-five-year-old Artie fears that it may be too late for him. He looks to Bunny for the support Bananas is too sick to give, but he still has a soft spot for his wife. The play focuses on his attempts to find success, first by having his music blessed by the pope, then by kowtowing to Hollywood celebrities Corrinna Stroller and Billy Einhorn.
Bananas Shaughnessy, Artie’s wife, once a fun-loving woman. She has since suffered a nervous breakdown. She is forty-four years old and appears in the play in a nightgown she has worn for the past six months; her eyes are red from crying. Frightened of Artie’s threats to send her to a rest home, she does her best to prove that she is still competent and that Artie is wrong to leave her.
Ronnie Shaughnessy, the eighteen-year-old son of Artie and Bananas. He wears a brushcut and large glasses. At the time of the play, Ronnie is absent without leave from the Army. Another victim of Artie’s thirst for fame, Ronnie once acted like an idiot in front of Hollywood director Billy Einhorn, who was looking for a boy Ronnie’s age to play Huck Finn. Although he sneaks into Artie’s apartment in the opening scene, he disappears and does not say anything or enter into the plot until he appears with a bomb...
(The entire section is 495 words.)