HOTEL ARTHRITIS – SOMEBODY IS KILLING OLD PEOPLE.
Big Broadway talent comes to the sliver screen!
In New York City in 2004, a fun and raunchy little Broadway musical called Avenue Q escalated to stardom across the entertainment industry, nabbing the Tony Award for Best Musical. Leading the way was Best Actor nominee, John Tartaglia, who then went on to grace NY stages in Beauty and the Beast and Shrek: The Musical. Now, fans and audiences of the multi-talented comedian can anticipate his breakthrough performance into the world of feature films as John plays “Dale,” the quirky, offbeat, a-sexual manager of a spooky retirement home in the upcoming comedy/horror Hotel Arthritis.
The film delivers a colorful, “Scooby Dooish” vibe, with some “Mel Brooks humor” and juicy language. It’s about a group of retirement home residents living in fear of a masked killer who stalks the halls of their home. It isn’t all frights and fears however, there are just as many, if not more, comedic bits around every corner. And yes, for Avenue Q fans, Tartagiia does put on a puppet show for the old folks… This one happens to be about herpes.
Alongside Tartaglia comes another Broadway veteran: Camille Saviola, most known as the originalMama Maddelena in Nine and also Matron Mama Morton in the revival of Chicago. Saviola plays “Fanny” in Hotel Arthritis, the Jewish gossiping yente of the grounds. Also from the New York stage is Bruce Vilanch, who in 2005 starred as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray after originating the role in the show’s first national stage tour.
“The colorful characters are what drives the film in this story,” says director, Jason Lockhart. “We’re meant to laugh with them and at them, both through their daily routines and alongside their current crisis.” Rounding out the rest of this veteran, star-studded cast is Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island), Lee Meriwether (Batman), Martin Kove (The Karate Kid), David Proval (The Sopranos), Kiersten Warren (Saved by the Bell: The College Years), Jacqui Holland (Hollywood Sex Wars), Shawn Harrison (Family Matters), Jerry Douglas (The Young and the Restless) and the famous confetti throwing comedian, Rip Taylor.
Hotel Arthritis is the first feature film from theatre grad, Jason Lockhart. He studied in the BFA Acting program at Wright State University and also the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Growing up on the stage and studying theatre, I wanted to work with actors who shared the same kind of love and language for their craft in the art of storytelling.” This is the fourth film from producer Michael J. Roth of MJR Films, whose previous credits include Circuit, The Civilization of Maxwell Bright and the horror hit Hellbent.
Lockhart’s second feature as a writer/director, American Lie, a “Christopher Guest-esque” mockumentary with sex drive, (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2313189/combined) is also coming soon.