By Ernio Hernandez
27 Nov 2007
Bellini and various experts will take part in "provocative discussions regarding the sexual revolution following the emergence of AIDS and how the behavior represented in The Ritz (and at Studio 54) changed in the '80s," according to a release.
Shelley Ackerman (comedian and former bathhouse performer), authors Richard Berkowitz ("Stayin' Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex, A Personal History") and Wayne Hoffman ("Hard," an inside look at gay men's lives today) as well as Ephen Glenn Colter (editor and contributor, "Policing Public Sex: Queer Issues and the Future of AIDS Activism") are currently lined up to participate.
Joe Mantello directs the Terrence McNally comedy revival starring Kevin Chamberlin and Rosie Perez, which began previews Sept. 15. The limited engagement opened Oct. 11 at Studio 54 for run a through Dec. 2.
Billed as "an over-the-top comedy that takes place in a bathhouse in Manhattan," the farcical The Ritz concerns a man (Chamberlin) — hiding out from a mobster in the titular Turkish bath — who realizes he is actually in a gay bathhouse. He then takes on the guise of a big Broadway producer to avoid being discovered.
Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, The Producers) is also featured in a cast that includes Ashlie Atkinson, Patrick Kerr, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Terrence Riordan, Seth Rudetsky, Adam Sietz, David Turner, Lenny Venito, Ryan Idol, Teddy Coluca, Billy Magnussen, Mark Leydorf, Matthew Montelongo, Angela Pietropinto, Jeffrey Evan Thomas, Josh Breckenridge, Justin Clynes, Andrew Cooksey, Lukas Hassel, Nick Mayo and Dillon Porter.
Tickets to The Ritz at Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300 or online at roundabouttheatre.org.