The Ritz (play)
The Ritz is a play by Terrence McNally. Rita Moreno won a Tony Award for her performance as Googie Gomez in the 1975 Broadway production, which she and many others of the original cast reprised in a 1976 film version directed by Richard Lester.
The farce is set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan, where unsuspecting heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo has taken refuge from his homicidal mobster brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci. There Gaetano stumbles across an assortment of oddball characters, including a rabid chubby chaser, go-go boys, a squeaky-voiced detective, and Googie Gomez, a third-rate Puerto Rican entertainer with visions of Broadway glory who mistakes him for a famous producer and whom he mistakes for a man in drag. Further complications arise when Gaetano's wife Vivian tracks him down and jumps to all the wrong conclusions about his sexual preferences.
Original Broadway production
The Ritz premiered on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on January 20, 1975, and closed after 398 performances and ten previews. Directed by Robert Drivas, the cast included Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller, F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Collins, and George Dzundza.
The first Broadway revival of The Ritz opened in previews in May 1983 at Xenon, formerly Henry Miller's Theatre, but closed after a single regular performance on May 2, 1983 and two weeks of previews.
A limited-run Broadway revival produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company began previews at Studio 54 on September 15, 2007, officially opening on October 11 and closed on December 9, 2007. Directed by Joe Mantello, the cast included Rosie Perez as Googie Gomez, Kevin Chamberlin as Gaetano Proclo, as well as Seth Rudetsky and Ryan Idol as bathhouse patrons.
1976 film version
Weston, Moreno, Stiller, and Abraham all reprised their stage roles in the 1976 film version directed by Richard Lester. Also in the cast were Kaye Ballard and Treat Williams. The film, Weston, and Moreno all received Golden Globe nominations in the comedy category.
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- Internet Broadway Database listing, all productions
- The Ritz at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ritz play and movie at bathhouseaddict.com.