Our Lady of 121st Street


Writers: Stephen Adly Guirgis


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Dark Comedy
Time & Place
In and around the Ortiz Funeral Home, Harlem, New York
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Diverse Cast, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, elderly characters


Sister Rose was a beloved nun and teacher in the 121st street neighborhood of Harlem. She has recently passed, and to the shock of everyone in the area, her dead body has been stolen overnight. Balthazar, a New York City Detective who grew up in this neighborhood, is tasked with figuring out what happened to Sister Rose’s body, while everyone else who showed up to pay their respects waits to hear any news. There is Rooftop, who has come into town from Los Angeles and is trying to avoid his ex-wife Inez, who is remarried and holding a deep grudge. There are Edwin and his brother Pinky, who is brain-damaged from a childhood accident, and there’s Norca, also called Nasty Norca, who is a mean menace of the neighborhood. Flip, a lawyer, and his husband, Gail, are in town from Wisconsin, and Flip is desperately trying to get Gail to act less “gay”, while Sister Rose’s niece, Marcia, uncomfortably sticks around until her aunt’s body is found, feeling like the whole world is against. Oh, and there’s Sonia who nobody knows and who clearly doesn’t fit in. This colorful cast of characters hang out for the first time in years and struggle with their feelings of grief for Sister Rose and deep-seated grief from the past. When Sister Rose is found, will they all go back to the way they were before her death?

Lead Characters

Our Lady of 121st Street guide sections