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LGBT Flashback 1976 – Rita Moreno Plays “Googie Gomez” In The Bathhouse Set Movie “The Ritz”

The Ritz written by Terrence McNally and performed on Broadway in the 1975 earned Rita Moreno a Tony Award for her portrayal of Googie Gomez, a third-rate Puerto Rican entertainer with visions of Broadway glory and rave reviews.

In 1976 the play was turned into a movie with Moreno reprising her role as Googey which she received Golden Globe nominations in the comedy category.

The movie today even as dated as it is , is a hilarious comedy set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan, where unsuspecting heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo has taken refuge from his homicidal mobster brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci. There Gaetano stumbles across an assortment of oddball characters, including a rabid chubby chaser, go-go boys, a squeaky-voiced detective, and Googie Gomez, who mistakes him for a famous producer and whom he mistakes for a man in drag.  To make matters worse Gaetano’s wife Vivian tracks him down and jumps to all the wrong conclusions about his sexual preferences.

If you ever get a chance to see it DO.

In the clip below Googie Gomez (Rita Moreno) sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” for the boys at The Ritz.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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