Friday, 19 November 2010

I know what's going on in here

"I know what's going on in here, with all of you men going "Hee hee hee, boo boo boo, hah hah ha!"

We went to the BFI (British Film Institute) again last night, for a not-to-be-missed occasion - a rare showing of one of my all-time favourite films, The Ritz!

Adapted by Oscar-wiining director Richard Lester from a 1970s theatrical production by the out-gay playwright Terrence McNally (who famously collaborated with Kander and Ebb on The Rink and Kiss of the Spiderwoman, received huge critical acclaim in the 90s with Love! Valour! Compassion! and in the noughties for his adaptation of The Full Monty for the stage), this is an extraordinary comedy indeed!

For those who have never seen this magnificent movie, the plot revolves around heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston) taking refuge from his homicidal Mafia brother-in-law Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller) in "the one place no-one would think to look for him", a gay bath house! In this fabulously tacky place, he gets pursued by chubby-chaser Claude Perkins (Paul B Price), befriended by the wise-cracking slut Chris (F Murray Abraham), and ineptly followed by private dick Michael Brick (Treat Willams). Farce follows farce, as the characters try to dodge the hit-men, the goings-on in the steamroom, and of course, the wrath of resident "diva" Googie Gomez (played to absolute perfection by the fantabulosa Rita Moreno)...

I won't go on, just watch some of the clips for yourself. I can highly recommend it as a real uplifting tonic - we were crying with laughter (despite having seen it many times), and the audience was hooting! Enjoy...

Buy your copy of The Ritz from Amazon

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