SAN DIEGO – Richard Lester’s comedic gem “The Ritz” will be the next presentation by FilmOut San Diego.
“The Ritz” will be shown at 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 13, at historic Birch North Park Theatre. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased HERE or at the door. Fetish Men San Diego will be out in force for the comedy and will be conducting business outside the theater before the screening.
The 1976 film, coming less than a decade after Stonewall, shocked straight audiences who were not familiar with the gay scene. The screenplay is based on Terence McNallay’s Tony Award-winning Broadway farce that is set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan.
An unsuspecting heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo(Jack Weston) has taken refuge in The Ritz, a gay bathhouse, to get away from his homicidal mobster brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller).
At the Ritz, Gaetano stumbles across an assortment of oddball characters including go-go boys; F. Murray Abraham as a rabid chubby chaser; Treat Williams as a squeaky-voiced detective; and Tony winner Rita Moreno as Googie Gomez, a third-rate Puerto Rican entertainer with visions of Broadway glory who mistakes Gaetano for a famous producer and whom he mistakes for a man in drag.
Further complications arise when Gaetano's wife Vivian, played by Kaye Ballard, tracks him down and jumps to all the wrong conclusions about his sexual preferences.
The film is rated R, but may seem tame by 21st-century standards.