Wow! Just discovered the fact that a production of Terrence McNally's fabulous comedy The Ritz has been revived on Broadway...
A camp classic (and the movie is one of my favourite films), The Ritz is the story of Carmine, a member of a mob family who, on the run from hitmen ordered by his own dying father-in-law, takes refuge in the one place he thinks the killers will never find him - a New York gay bath house!
Inside, the interplay between the characters is one long farcical (and hilarious) romp of innuendo and mistaken identities. The lead gay character is the uber-camp Chris, whose one-liners I still quote today:
- (Bumping into a big butch queen in the lift) "Margaret Dumont, we thought you were dead!"
- ("Well, if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a queen without a sense of humor. You can die with your secrets, honey!"
- ("There will be an orgy in Room 340 in approximately four minutes! Orgy in 340, four minutes!"
But among the eccentric mix of characters in The Ritz , the star of them all has to be that epitome of all dire cabaret acts, Miss Googie Gomez! Played in the movie by the supremely talented Rita Moreno, Googie Gomez is anything but... Her hilarious "tribute" to Cole Porter, her violence when someone thinks she is "tacky drag", her pursuit of Carmine when she thinks he is a music producer - all priceless!
And so Terrence McNally's play returns to the stage, and hope one day the producers will have the good sense to bring it over here - I will be first in the queue for tickets!
Read all about the Broadway production at Studio 54
Footnote: And for any of you bizarre people out there who have never even seen The Ritz there is the perfect opportunity coming up, as the DVD is (finally) released in the US in January! No sign of a UK release as yet, but I wait with bated breath...
Order your copy from Amazon