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Westport Country Playhouse to Present ROOM SERVICE, 10/8-27

Westport Country Playhouse will stage the madcap American comedy, "Room Service," about a producer and his ragtag bunch of cohorts who try to raise money for a Broadway show as they scramble to evade their hotel bill, written by John Murray and Allen Boretz, directed by Mark Lamos, October 8 - 27.

"The freshness and combustible energy of 'Room Service' is a testament to the brilliance of the craftsmen who created it many decades ago," said Lamos. "The sheer energy and muscularity of the writing, its speed and pacing, the way it tells its crazy but classic story-- all these aspects of the play astonish me. Not many American plays of the 1930s, especially comic ones, still feel so vibrantly alive, or so real, so immediate."

Set in a second-rate Times Square hotel room, "Room Service" tells of Gordon Miller, who has finally discovered a formula for Broadway success: be bold, brash, and option a brilliant script by a promising young writer. What he hasn't discovered is a willing financial backer. As behind-the-scenes business of putting on a play becomes more frenetic, one wonders if the show will ever go on. The play was adapted into a 1938 movie with the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball.

The "Room Service" cast includes David Beach (Broadway's "Mamma Mia!," "Urinetown," "Moon Over Buffalo") as Joseph Gribble; Jim Bracchitta (Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, TV, film, radio/TV commercials) as Harry Binion; Eric Bryant (New York's "Angels in America"; "Almost, Maine - CT Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Ensemble) as Leo David; Donald Corren (Westport Country Playhouse's "Souvenir," and more; Broadway's "Souvenir," "Torch Song Trilogy") as Dr. Glass; Michael McCormick (Westport Country Playhouse' "She Loves Me"; Broadway's "Chaplin," "Curtains," "Kiss, Me Kate") as Gregory Wagner; Richard Ruiz (Off-Broadway's "Two Gentlemen of Verona"; National Tours of "Sweet Charity," "Urinetown") as Faker Englund; Ben Steinfeld (Broadway's "Cyrano de Bergerac, "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson") as Gordon Miller; Hayley Treider (New York's "Double Falsehood," "The Best of Everything," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer") as Hilda Manney; Frank Vlastnik (Westport Country Playhouse's Kander and Ebb's "All About Us"; Broadway's "Big") as Bank Messenger/Simon Jenkins/Timothy Hogarth; Peter Von Berg (Off-Broadway's "Uncle Vanya," "Romeo and Juliet"; film "Cast Away") as Sasha Smirnoff/Senator Blake; and Zoë Winters (Off-Broadway's "4000 Miles," "Love Song"; Regional's "The Imaginary Invalid" - Footlight Award) as Christine Marlowe.

Playwrights John Murray and Allen Boretz were best known for writing the 1937 play "Room Service," which ran for 500 performances on Broadway, starring Sam Levene, Eddie Albert, and Betty Field, and directed by George Abbott. Jack Lemmon starred in a 1953 revival of the play. It was turned into two films: "Room Service," starring the Marx Brothers, and "Step Lively," starring Frank Sinatra. Murray wrote songs and sketches for the "Ziegfeld Follies" and "Alive and Kicking," for the Eddie Cantor radio show, and eventually turned to writing for television. Boretz wrote other plays including "Off to Buffalo" with Max Liebman, and was the songwriter for several Broadway musicals, including "The Garrick Gaieties."

Director Mark Lamos has directed many plays at Westport Country Playhouse since 2008, winning the 2013 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his direction of "The Dining Room." His extensive New York credits include "Our Country's Good," for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he received the 1989 Tony Award for the theater's body of work. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College.

The design and production team includes John Arnone (Westport Country Playhouse's "Happy Days"; Tony Award winner for The Who's "Tommy") scenic design; Wade Laboissonniere (Broadway's "The Story of My Life"; tours of Disney's "High School Musical," "White Christmas") costume design; Russell Champa(Broadway's "In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play," Julia Sweeney's God Said "Ha!") lighting design; Drew Levy (Westport Country Playhouse's "The Show-Off," "The Year of Magical Thinking," "The Circle"; Broadway's "Chaplin" - Drama Desk Award), sound design; Michael Rossmy, fight director; Karin White, props master; Deborah Hecht, vocal and dialect coach; Matthew Melchiorre, resident production stage manager; Christine D'Amore, assistant stage manager; and Tara Rubin Casting.

Playing October 8 - 27, the performance schedule for "Room Service" is Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, Previews, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Literary Salon, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Young Professionals, and Backstage Pass.

Single ticket prices, starting at $30, are subject to change based on availability. Buy early for the best prices. Educators and students are eligible for 50% discounts. On the day of a performance, senior rush tickets are available at 50%. Flex Passes are also on sale, offering date flexibility and many subscriber-only benefits.

"Room Service" Production Sponsors are Barbara and John Samuelson. Corporate Production Partners are Cohen and Wolf; KPMG; and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, The Bender Financial Group.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org, or by using the new Playhouse App or mobile website. Stay connected to The Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider's peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).

Photo by Dave Matlow


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