Genre Puts on The Ritz


The November issue of Genre magazine features Terrence McNally and the entire cast of the Broadway revival of The Ritz, a mobster farce set in the confines of a 70’s bathhouse. The decadent pre-AIDS world of New York’s bathhouse scene is revisited with a look at the entire cast as well as the production’s colorful set. On the cover is model and bathhouse patron Justin Clynes, who also shares the stage with, among others, porn icon Ryan Idol.

I caught a performance of The Ritz recently, which is staged, appropriately at the legendary Studio 54. Having not seen the original production, I was unsure of what to expect and surprised when the show’s plot was less sexual than its marketing materials (currently running on this site, with text covering the torsos clad in towels) seem to suggest. Though there is plenty of eye-candy, including the now bearish Idol romping around the stage while smoking a big cigar and holding a vat of Crisco, The Ritz is more of a farce along the lines of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off with plenty of slamming doors, pratfalling, and mistaken identities.

What makes the show, however, is Rosie Perez’ wonderful turn as bathhouse singer Googie Gomez (a part originated by Rita Moreno), a role for which Perez seems perfectly suited. The tragedy of what’s to come in the 80’s for these bathhouse patrons rarely crossed my mind, which for the show’s sake is a blessing. Time may have healed some wounds. A touch of laughter definitely helps.


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    “a vat of Crisco”

    LOL, Lord, have mercy–those were the days!

    The guy is pretty. I like pretty men, but only for an hour or two…I mean, if I ever got the opportunity again. Although, pretty men are just like pretty girls–they cost money.

  2. GreatBallofFire says

    Instinct uses stock art and some gays on their cover. I heard that all the gay rags put gay models on their Pride issues. Other than that, it’s a free-for-all. (Well, I am sure this guy aint free!)

  3. Ryan says

    No, there’s a gay publication that only features gay people on it’s cover. I thought it was Genre. I know it’s not Out, Advocate or XY. I coud swear it was Genre.

  4. mike says

    I saw the show this weekend. I agree, Rosie was a real treat! However, my vote for the best performance was “the chubby chaser”! Don’t remember his name, but he was truly a delight!!! Go see this show if you get a chance. Trust me.. it’s not going to last…. Too gay for the straight/commuter crowd.

  5. ATLSteve says

    Ryan –
    You’re thinking of Instinct. They made a big deal of that cover requirement during the whole Janice Dickinson model/Survivor contestant coming out drama.

  6. Leland Frances says

    “Genre” is still in business? Who knew? Who cares?

    Although the film version of “The Ritz” ultimately goes limp, it’s worth renting just for the cast, beefcake, and a few good lines. Rita Moreno is a hoot and the young, hot Treat Williams who spends 99% of the movie in only a towel was a fuck-fantasy to behold. Throw in a funny Jack Weston who takes forever to figure out it’s THAT kind of bathhouse, F. Murray Abraham as a Read Queen, Jerry Stiller as a straight mobster, “Cheers'” John “Cliff” Ratzenberger, and Paul B. Price, hilarious as the chubby chaser after the straight Weston, throwing candy bars from the suitcases full of food he brings with him to the baths through the transom of the room the Weston is trying to hide in. “Jelly Roll Baby!” [They do a fun Andrews Sisters number.] Unfortunately, the worst in the main cast is Kaye Ballard who few outside NYC gaynoscenti know was the lover of Jane Wagner before Wagner became the partner of Lily Tomlin. Williams scenes et al., at:

  7. Mike says

    I – and a few friends – are still waiting for a DVD release of the 1976 movie with Treat Williams, Jack Weston, F. Murray Abraham (pre-Amadeus) and Rita Moreno as Googie Gomez. Even the video is hard to hunt down.

  8. GaYToR says

    *shaking his head*

    Am I really that old that I’m the only one that recalls the original? It was also made into a movie and Rita Moreno won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (I think she won the Tony too.)

    Rent the movie. The men aren’t as pretty, but in his day, Treat Williams was nice eye candy. The movie is the next best thing for those of us who aren’t pivileldge to live in NYC and surronding areas and have to wait for the Broadway Touring Company runs.

  9. Leland Frances says

    The wonderful Moreno won her Oscar for “West Side Story” not “The Ritz” for which she did win a Tony.

    Glad she’s working again even if it is in the too derivative “Cane.” Will someone PLEASE send me nude photos of her costar Nestor Carbonell? LOL.

  10. NYCActor says

    Instinct puts anyone on their cover. I have an old issue that featured Dante’s Cove (horrible show) – and Instinct’s cover art was the same as pics that had been used in the bar-rag, HX – a “week earlier.” I am not sure about this cover guy – maybe gay-for-pay? I’d pull out my check-book.

  11. Bob R says

    I have the original “The Ritz” on VHS and have enjoyed it over the years, along with “The Boys in the Band” (also on VHS). Rita Moreno was hilarious as Googie Gomez, Treat Williams was hot (still is I think) and Jack Weston was perfect in his role. I now live in a very rural area (Appalachia) and will probably not get to see the Broadway production unless it’s put on DVD or broadcast on cable. I understand the DVD of “The Ritz” is due out soon. I also read somewhere that “The Boys in the Band” will be released in late 2008 or early 2009. Both DVD’s will be a welcome addition to my collection.

  12. Jordan says

    Yes, yes yes…the body’s perfect, the face is beautiful, (yawn), but what is with the sideburns? To go with the 70’s I’m sure, but god were they awful. What were they thinking back then?

  13. Larry says

    I like the sideburns. What were we thinking?: that framing a handsome face with some sculptured facial hair can make a man’s stunning features even more beautiful. I liked the seventies, too. Justin…not so much.

  14. shawn brannen says

    I would like to recieve genre magazines. How would i subscribe to them. My address is 2800 ruleme street eustis florida 32726. Thank you and have a nice day.

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