Room Service
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

Ross Valley Players revives an old fashion comedy written by John Murray and Allen Boretz. First produced on Broadway in 1937, Room Service was such a hit that it went on to become a successful movie starring the Marx Brothers and Lucille Ball. Those of you old enough to remember the film will get a real kick out of Ross Valley Players’ current production directed by Michael-Paul Thomsett.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s all in the timing,” used in reference to comedy and it was never more evident than with comedians like the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball and others that brought laughter to the new medium of film. But in addition to timing, comedy is made or broken by the right combination of gestures. In fact, it is nonstop movement that Thomsett and his cast understand well. The energy of the actors in this production will leave the sedentary audience exhausted by the end of the performance and it’s not just from laughter. This play requires your mind to be very awake and active. You should leave the theatre feeling like you drank 10 cups of coffee.

The story is about a group of actors in New York City trying to get financial backing for their play, which they hope to turn into a Broadway hit. Gordon Miller (Dan Saski) is the producer and paces the stage with a very distinctive Groucho Marx walk. Through a relative in the hotel business, Miller puts his entire theatrical troupe up in a Times Square hotel with the promise of payment from a backer that has yet to materialize. Meanwhile, the new hotel manager, Gregory Wagner (David Kester) is doing everything in his power to kick them all out. The humor is a lot like a Tom and Jerry cartoon where these theatrical mice keep devising new ways to escape the cat-like hotel manager.

For tickets to this zany night of entertainment call (415) 456-9555 or visit www.rossvalleyplayers.org.

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