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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

at the SoHo Playhouse, New York

By Robert Cashill

  Photo: Carol Rosegg

Order Room Service for a juicy helping of ham. The Peccadillo Theater Company, an old hand at repotting half-forgotten chestnuts like Counsellor-At-Law Off Broadway, has given a 70-year-old farce from producer-director George Abbott a spiffy, fast-paced reupholstering.

The play about a play is best remembered as a 1938 Marx Brothers movie, in which the threesome were awkwardly shoehorned into Allen Boretz and John Murray's knockabout plot; onstage the production emerges as a proto-Producers. A touring Bialystock, David Edwards, is aptly cast as the penniless Gordon Miller, whose strenuous scheming to get "an epic of American history, as seen through the eyes of an ignorant Polish miner" off the ground upsets the management of the Times Square hotel he and his cronies have been bilking. Peccadillo's artistic director, Dan Wackerman, keeps a 12-member ensemble stomping through Chris Jones' seedily vintage set and the twists in the storyline, maybe too vigorously for some; a subtle chamber piece this ain't.

It must be said, though, that despite a cast and a production polished enough to pass for a Turner Classic Movie brought to the boards, Room Service is good, not great, entertainment, longer on madcap incident than genuine wit. Still, the doors slam, and not creak, which is not a small thing.


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