The 1938 movie "Room Service", which stared Lucille Ball and the Marx brothers is coming to the Avo Playhouse in Vista, California by the Moonlight Stage Productions. Starring actor, Frank Remiatte will be the lead and directed by the former Renaissance Theatre Company founder, George Flint.
"I read the script and loved it," Remiatte said. "It's got so much to it. So much humor and a little romance to go with it."
Set in 1930s New York City, "Room Service" is the story of Sasha Smirnoff, a Broadway producer who is living in a hotel with most of the cast rehearsing the show "Godspeed." Unfortunately, he can't find a backer for his play and his bills are getting so overdue that he and the cast are in danger of being thrown out of the hotel.
The similarity between this fast-talking producer and the one played by Nathan Lane in the Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" isn't lost on Remiatte.
"Nathan Lane is one of my idols," he said. "And yes, the character does remind me a little of him. I hope I bring some of him to the role."
Even though the role requires a lot of lines and a quick delivery, Remiatte is enjoying the experience.
"It hasn't been all that challenging," he said. "The cast and crew have been really supportive. In fact, the most difficult thing has been the commute from Poway to Vista in rush-hour traffic. But I've always wanted to work at Moonlight."
And he's happy to work with Flint again, even if it's probably for the last time.
"I enjoying working with George," he said. "He has a great vision and really knows how to cast a show. I'm going to miss him when he leaves."
Meanwhile, Remiatte is having fun with "Room Service."
"There's so much going on onstage," said Remiatte, who works as an operations manager for a worker's comp company. "There are doors slamming, people running all over and food flying. It's really a screwball comedy."
No wonder there is a film version of the play that starred the Marx Bros. and Lucille Ball, but it deviated greatly from the play. The stage version is much funnier, Remiatte said.
"The show has such good, fun humor," he said. "It's one of those shows where the audience can sit back and be entertained for two hours."
Room Service" opens March 2 and runs through March 19; showtimes, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Avo Playhouse in Vista, California. Tickets are $23, general, $21, seniors, students and military. For more information call (760) 724-2110 or visit the Moonlight Stage Productions website.