By Terrence McNally
In his much younger days, Terrence McNally wrote edgy, Albee-esque one-act plays that provided some of the highlights of the off-Broadway theater scene in the early 1970s. Then, in 1975, he broke through on Broadway with this far more conventional, full-length farce, about a fugitive from the mob who hides out in a gay bathhouse. The problem with the new revival of The Ritz is not that the flaming-queen stereotypes look awfully tired 30 years later, or that the flip treatment of sexual promiscuity is a little creepy in the post-AIDS era. It's that the play itself was always a frenetic piece of piffle. Rosie Perez wins most of the cheers, with the easiest lay-up on Broadway playing a no-talent Latino cabaret singer who mangles her English and does awful versions of old show tunes. As for the rest of this flat revival, directed by Joe Mantello, it probably should have stayed in the closet.