A Rosie by any other name...
By Michael Musto
Screen firecracker Rosie Perez is hitting the gay baths, and you�d better hide your cuchifritas. Perez�who�s best known for films like Do the Right Thing and Fearless�is returning to the stage for a Broadway revival of Terrence McNally�s The Ritz, the 1975 farce about some wacky shenanigans involving gays and mobsters in towels. Perez camps it up as Googie Gomez, a talentless chanteuse with an accent as thick as the cement the mob makes shoes out of. Though she wants to be thought of as a rising star � la Bette Midler, more often Googie�s mistaken for an off-kilter drag queen.
Joe Mantello, who also directed Perez in the revival of McNally�s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, is at the helm of The Ritz, and it�s being mounted at Studio 54, a location that makes perfect sense considering the �70s hedonism that apparently went on in there.
Hi, Rosie. So how are you approaching Googie�s very bad singing?
Rosie Perez: It�s just so difficult for me! [Laughs] I�m really channeling three people -- Ethel Merman, one of my cousins (I can�t say her name because she�ll kill me and she�s so clueless she�ll never guess it�s her when she sees it), and Boy Shakira.
No. Boy Shakira has got heart. Sanjaya, oy vey.