Joe Mantello directs the new production — starring Rosie Perez and Kevin Chamberlin — which began previews Sept. 15 and opened Oct. 11 at Studio 54. The limited engagement, which was originally scheduled to run through Dec. 2, now adds an extra week of performances.
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.
Perez plays entertainer Googie Gomez, who aspires to bigger venues as she puts on a song-and-dance act that includes unique homages to Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kander & Ebb, Sondheim, Styne and more.
The cast also features Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, The Producers) as bathhouse regular Chris, Ashlie Atkinson (Fat Pig) as Vivian Proclo, Patrick Kerr ("Jeffrey," "Frasier") as "chubby chaser" Claude Perkins, Terrence Riordan (Take Me Out tour) as private eye Michael Brick and Lenny Venito ("The Knights of Prosperity") as raging brother-in-law Carmine Vespucci.
Rounding out the ensemble are Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, David Turner, Seth Rudetsky, Adam Sietz, 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. Andréa Burns (In The Heights) serves as standby for Perez. Christopher Gattelli choreographs with Rudetsky handling musical direction. The design team includes Scott Pask (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Peggy Eisenhauer and Jules Fisher (lights), Tony Meola (sound) and Paul Huntley (hair and wig).
Actress Perez has taken time between her screen career to add some stage work to her resume, playing in Broadway's recent revivals of Reckless and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and Off-Broadway's References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. Her film credits include "Fearless," "Human Nature," "Do the Right Thing," "Untamed Heart" and HBO's "Lackawanna Blues." She made her directorial debut with the 2006 documentary "Yo Soy Boricua Pa'que Tu Lo Sepas!"
Chamberlin returns to the Broadway stage after a recent turn in the City Center Encores! revue Stairway to Paradise. He received Tony nominations for his work in Dirty Blonde and Seussical and has also appeared in Chicago, My Favorite Year, Abe Lincoln in Illinois and Triumph of Love. The actor has also been seen in the films "Lucky Number Slevin," "Road to Perdition," "DieHard With a Vengeance," "In and Out" and "Christmas with the Kranks."
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.