Tuesday, October 22, 2013


With the producer and director in place, the twenty-two member cast set, the script secured and ready to mount, what could be missing?  In "Room Service" by John Murray and Allen Boretz, the answer is simple and fairly insurmountable as an obstacle:  the money.  Without a backer, a sugar daddy who will make all things possible, nothing will happen.  The theater will remain dark and the audience will never occupy the plush velvet seats. Until Sunday, October 27, Westport Country Playhouse will be entertaining this zany theatrical zoo.

Originally a 1938 movie starring the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball, "Room Service" is a laugh out loud farce.  With a quartet of slamming doors in which come a bevy of theater folks, doctors real and imaginary, secretaries, a Russian actor posing as a waiter, a penniless playwright and assorted hotel staff who are suffering from Nellie's nervous breakdowns, the silliness is set to erupt like a volcano.

Room 920 of the White Way Hotel in New York City in 1937 is one busy place.  Gordon Miller, a fast talking conniver Ben Steinfeld, has everything ready for his new hit show, everything but the finances.  Is he worried?  Not by a long shot.  His immediate concern is the large hotel bill he has amassed, with all his actors occupying rooms and ordering meals, or even more expensive, room service.  He has relied on his brother-in-aw Joe, a long suffering David Beach, but now the head hotel honcho, Mr. Wagner, an impatient and anxious Michael McCormick, has arrived to settle the books.

Room 920 gets quite crowded as Gordon's girlfriend Christine (Zoe Winters), his new nervous playwright Leo (Eric Bryant), Harry the director (Jim Bracchitta), Faker the producer (Richard Ruiz), the hotel's secretary Hilda (Hayley Treider), the potential backer Jenkins (Frank Vlastnik), the waiter Sasha (Peter Von Berg) and the doctor (Donald Corren) enter and exit repeatedly.

Will Gordon have to skip out without paying his bill, leaving Joe to settle his debts?  Will the backer renege when he realizes that shady doings are taking place under his nervous nose?  Is the play "Godspeed" worthy of all these madcap machinations?  You'll just have to join the three ring circus to discover the funny solutions that director Mark Lamos has up his sleeves and in his magician's hat.

For tickets ($30 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org.  Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m and 8 p.m, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Art and corruption are married in this silly zoo of insanity where whether or not the curtain will rise is the farcical question.

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