Room Service, a Broadway hit from the late 1930’s, is currently running as a fast paced comedy at the Hale Centre Theater in Orem.
The story is about the sneaky producer Gordon Miller (played by Reese Purser) and how he and his cast of actors in carry out a variety of shenanigans. It’s a game of hide-and-seek with endless excuses to stall and distract hotel managers and creditors who want their money. Broke and desperate, they seek a financier for their play Godspeed as they rehearse on the 19th floor of the hotel.
The dialogue in the script shows its age. It is a farcical comedy reminiscent of the Marx Brothers. However, it generated many laughs among the older generation in the audience.
The Hale Theater is a theater “in the round,” which means that the audience is seated on all four sides watching the play. This theater might not be the best stage for this type of crazed comedy. It adds stress and confusion having actors enter and exit stage so rapidly from four directions. Director David Morgan managed prop-work and the stage blocking successfully.
The stage was set as a 1930’s hotel suite. The costume and hair designers’ stylistic choices felt appropriate and timely.
David Morrison, a BYU film student, played Leo Davis, the innocent young writer of Godspeed. His appearance, looks and comedic style resemble Martin Short from the film The Three Amigos and other famous comedies. Young Morrison certainly has innocence and a stage presence comparable to successful “oddball” comedians in Hollywood. The eleven-actor cast did remarkably with Room Service.
The original play is written by John Murray and Allen Boretz and it will run until Feb. 7th.
To a better understand any play at UVU or elsewhere, a good suggestion would be to search the internet for a plot synopsis before you attend. This will enable you to enjoy the play and alleviate any confusion in regards to its interpretation, style and performance.