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SU Drama presents classic comedy 'Room Service'

March 16, 2010

Patrick Finlon
(315) 443-2636

The Department of Drama will present “Room Service” by John Murray and Allen Boretz March 26-April 3. It will be directed by Robert Moss.

This comic delight from the 1930s is a real treat for anyone who loves theater and especially for those who love the people who make theater. An unscrupulous Broadway producer struggles to find a backer for his new show, which he knows will be a smash hit. Holed up in a Times Square hotel with 19 hungry actors and a ballooning room service bill, he tries to forestall eviction by concocting a series of ever-more-preposterous events. For tickets, call (315) 443-3275 or visit http://vpa.syr.edu/drama.

When “Room Service” opened on Broadway in 1937, America was on the rebound from the Great Depression and people were flocking to movies and theaters seeking escape from their troubles. One year after its opening on Broadway, RKO Studio paid Murray and Boretz $225,000, an astounding amount for the time, for the film rights to their play and subsequently paid the Marx Brothers $100,000 to star in the movie.

Four years later, in 1943, RKO turned “Room Service” into a musical for Frank Sinatra, entitled “Step Lively.” Although Boretz adapted both the film and musical versions of “Room Service,” neither project matched the popularity of its source. In 1953, however, 16 years after its premiere, the play had a Broadway revival featuring a newcomer named Jack Lemmon. And today, more than 70 years after its first success, audiences from coast to coast continue to enjoy and rediscover “Room Service.”

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