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The Ritz

The Ritz
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 89
Pub. Date: 1976
ISBN-10: 0573615004
ISBN-13: 9780573615009
Cast Size: 3 female, 14 male

About the Play:

The Ritz is a full-length comedy by Terrence McNally. A conservative Cleveland businessman is on the run to escape his murderous mafioso brother-in-law. In his desperation, he seeks refuge in an uproarious gay bathhouse packed with kooky characters and a chain of mistaken identities. The Ritz became one of the first plays with unapologetic gay characters to reach a mainstream audience. It was so acclaimed a film version was produced within a year.

The Ritz is an over-the-top comedy that takes place in the mid-1970s at a bathhouse in Manhattan. Gaetano Proclo, a hapless, middle-aged, overweight, very married man ducks into what he thinks is a hotel to escape the clutches of his Mafioso brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci. When Gaetano realizes "The Ritz" is a gay bathhouse, he reasons it is the perfect place to hide and pretends to be a big-time Broadway producer to keep suspicions low. But Carmine locates Gaetano and what transpires is an old-fashioned door slamming farce, albeit with towel-clad chubby chasers, bumbling detectives, and Googie Gomez, an over-the-top would-be Bette Midler looking for her big break. Wild, manic mayhem, mistaken identities and advances – both wanted and unwanted – all build to a crazy conclusion in this hilarious farce that leaves everyone in hot water! The Ritz was inspired by real New York sauna, The Continental, that was visited by people of all sexual persuasions and celebrities looking to meet the 'artsy-fartsy' types.

The Ritz premiered in 1975 at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway in New York City. Originally produced in 1974 as The Tubs at Yale Repertory Theatre, the internationally celebrated professional theater in residence at Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut, it ran more than a year on Broadway, received a Drama Desk nomination as Outstanding New American Play, and established Terrence McNally as a high-profile playwright.

Cast: 3 female, 14 male

What people say:

"I laughed a lot and who should ask for anything more." — The New York Times

"First rate farce...Perfect Broadway entertainment." — Women's Wear Daily

About the Playwright:

Terrence McNally (1938-2020) was an American playwright whose career has spanned six decades. Initially active in the burgeoning Off-Broadway theatre movement in the 1960s, he is one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully made the transition to Broadway, and, in the process, passed from avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. In addition to four Tony Awards for his plays, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and was a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor. He is considered one of America's great playwrights.

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