Fledgling playwright Roger Rueff demonstrates a facility for rapid-fire and Rueff does show potential, but “Hospitality Suite” is at best a. Hospitality Suite. In a small hotel room high above Wichita, Kansas, conflicting notions of character, salesmanship, honesty, religion, and love simmer until they . Hospitality Suite (Reading Copy). In a small hotel room high above Wichita, Kansas, conflicting notions of character, salesmanship, honesty, religion, and love.

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But playwright Roger Rueff goes Mamet one better. His “Hospitality Suite,” which opened during the weekend at South Coast Repertory’s Second Stage, is Rudff with religion–both evangelical and spiritual.

Hospitality Suite – Wikipedia

And for all of its surface comedy, there is an unexpectedly serious lining to the banter. The target of Rueff’s play is the American Way of business. Cooped up with them in this room-with-a-view on the 26th floor of the Holiday Inn is a hoslitality, newer man, Bob John Ellington. Bob is a lab engineer for the company. He helps make the stuff they sell and they have him there fueff this occasion chiefly as window-dressing.

Hospitality Suite | Roger Rueff

He’s a lure, because Phil and Larry are looking to snag big fish. Among the visitors they expect is a man whose business, if they can get it, could be their stairway to economic heaven. And for the better part of Act I we are subjected to casually entertaining expository banter. Phil is a recently divorced, laconic fellow in his late 40s who shows few signs of the bluster and outward aggressiveness of a career salesman.


As played by Took, his manner is decidedly reserved, intelligent and understated.

Bob, with whom he shares the room alone at first, is an innocent–a newly married man who, we discover, is more than a little driven by his Christian beliefs. This makes him a rather humorless, self-righteous, impossibly vice-free fellow who tends to look at the world through the narrow blinders of his faith.

And yet as Ellington portrays him, there is something almost refreshing about hospktality comical and stodgy naivete.


He’s the perfect foil for Doyle’s apoplectic Larry, who, when he finally arrives, is the very image of a dedicated huckster–a man with dollar signs coursing through his veins, who thrives on crisis and the heat of battle.

For him, even a mini-trade show of this sort is nothing less than a bullring in which all the moves are his, including the kill. Rueff’s dialogue and characters are dead-on, and while he doesn’t indulge in Mamet imitations, his Larry could be bosom buddies with any one of the guys rlger that worthless Florida real estate in Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross.

But it’s only in Act II that it suote starts to flow. By then, the party’s over Art Koustik has a hilarious cameo as the last drunken man to leave the decimated roomdisappointment sets in and some of the play’s more penetrating issues begin to be addressed. We won’t divulge what triggers conflict and dismay, but it is less the smoldering exasperation than its unexpected resolutions–a vastly different one for each of the protagonists–that make “Hospitality Suite” such a surprising and rogwr entrant in the new play field.


The comedy turns sober, taking on an emphatic humanism and even a spirituality for which the seeds have been so carefully sown by Rueff that the radical mood change never becomes mawkish rueff betrays the tone or tenor of the piece.

Director Steven Albrezzi has skillfully calibrated his players, all of them SCR veterans of such long standing that the seamless coalescence of their performances effortlessly raise “Hospitality Suite” to its affecting new plane. Dwight Richard Odle is responsible for the persuasive hotel room set and casual costumes, and Doc Ballard for the simple, realistic light scheme.

But it’s the play and the performances that keep us watching. A new play by Roger Rueff. Sets and costumes Dwight Richard Odle. Production manager Edward Lapine.

Stage manager Andy Tighe. A Welcome ‘Hospitality Suite’: Man A new play by Roger Rueff. Seizure Led to FloJo’s Death. His scores make his case.

Copyright Los Angeles Times.