[NoHo Arts District, CA] –The Group Rep presents ROOM SERVICE, a screwball comedy written by John Murray and Allen Boretz, directed by Mareli Mitchel-Shields, produced by Kathleen R. Delaney, running September 18-October 15 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.
It’s 1937. A perpetually penniless theatrical producer and his pals are rehearsing a play they think will be a huge hit, but their mounting hotel bills threaten to overwhelm the enterprise before opening night. They must rehearse and secure a backer while trying to outwit the hotel efficiency expert who is trying to evict them. The astounding sum these dreamers must attain to get their 22-member cast onto Broadway is $15,000!
ROOM SERVICE was originally produced by George Abbott and debuted at the Cort Theatre in New York City on May 19, 1937. Its initial production ran for 500 performances, closing on July 16, 1938. RKO Pictures purchased the film rights for a then-record $225,000 and used it as the basis for the Marx Brothers film of the same title, released in 1938 starring: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller and Frank Albertson. In 1944 RKO released a further film adaptation, a musical entitled Step Lively starring Frank Sinatra.
What journalists have said about the play:
“‘Room Service’ presents us with a grand opportunity for a good old-fashioned howl at a cagey Broadway producer faced with almost certain fiscal ruin: a madcap with a mob of loonies who stretch the ethical boundaries of theatrical finance back in one of Broadway’s most golden of eras, the 1930s.” – Article excerpt MAKING HAY IN THE GREAT WHITE WAY By Lawrence Henley
“When playwrights John Murray and Allen Boretz created the zany farce “Room Service” in 1937, little did they know it would engender a successful Broadway run, a Marx Brothers’ movie, and a Frank Sinatra musical.” – Article excerpt ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS: ROOM SERVICE By Marlo M. Ihler
“…facets of this fun farce offer good entertainment. Much of the show’s non-stop action involves them opening and slamming shut doors as characters find themselves locked in or out, coming, going, hiding, and escaping. It’s madcap fun.” As a comedy, rather than a drama, Room Service delivers a light meal, but one worth enjoying. It also serves to remind us, as our nation faces uncertainty, that humor helps buoy hope and the arts are critical to any society’s collective intellectual and emotional well-being. – Review by Candace Brown/Good Life Northwest
“Like most farces, the play relies on snappy dialogue, slapstick comedy and a wickedly fast pace… It all looks crazy and manic…has the appropriate amount of slamming doors to heighten the tension, but this apparent chaos masks a tightly written play… If farce does indeed work best in troubled times, then this seems as good an era as any to revive Room Service…This is absolutely as good as it gets.” – Review by Gregory A. Wilson/A CurtainUp Review
The Group Rep cast features the talents of Fox Carney, Joe Clabby, Joseph Eastburn, Sandra Fancher, Tommy Jacobs, Jessica Kent, Sam Logan, Will Maizel, Matthew McLaughlin, Cynthia Payo, Jackie Shearn, Wesley Simpkin, Bonnie Snyder, Melissa Strauss, Axel Truitt, Sal Valletta, Grant Velarde, Timothy Willard, Chris Winfield and Tilly Ye.
The Creative Team includes Mareli Mitchel-Shields (Director), Kathleen R. Delaney (Producer), Chris Winfield (Set Design), Frank McKown (Lighting Design), Aylah Robinson (Costume Design), Reid Woodbury, Jr. (Sound Design), Paul Cady (Music Director), Sasha Kartman (Stage Manager), Cynthia Payo (Assistant Director), Brent Beerman (Assistant Director), John Ledley (Assistant Stage Manager), Reggie (Properties Manager), Denise Downer (Marketing), Kristin Stancato (Webmaster & Online Marketing), Doug Engalla (Promotional Video & Photography), Doug Haverty (Graphic Design), Bridget Murray (Social Media) and Jackie Shearn (Social Media).
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