Room Service

By Marlene S. Gaylinn

If you enjoy silly fun in the style of the Marx Brothers (the team also made a film by the same title) “Room Service,” at the Westport Country Playhouse is the place to go. This 1930’s comedy, about an acting company’s struggle to survive during the depression, was deftly chosen and directed by Mark Lamos to close this theatre’s season on a lighthearted note.

The play’s comic scenes take place in a hotel room where the producer, his cast members and the writer are about to be evicted for not paying their hotel bills. The set contains doors that slam and provide places to hide from the hotel manager, a bed to nurse a supposedly sick writer with a contagious disease, a Russian room service waiter with ambitions to become an actor, the show’s potential backer to is anxious to back out of the production, the female love interest, and a cast of funny actors who devise a number of very crazy schemes to ensure that they get financing for the show to go on.

Presenting this outdated show is like conducting a symphony orchestra -- it requires perfect timing. This is definitely provided by a well-rehearsed, excellent cast. Among the nine actors, Ben Steinfeld plays the plays the central role of the hectic producer, Peter Von Berg is the amusing Russian actor and Eric Bryant plays the playwright who innocently wanders into this crazy crew.

It’s amazing how this play’s success can be measured by the beat of the Westport audience’s laughter -- which was abundant throughout the performance.

 

Posted 10.25.2013

 

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