Michael Urie in Torch Song Revival

Second Stage Theatre has announced that it will stage a 35th anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy this fall starring Buyer & Cellar’s Michael Urie as Arnold Beckoff.

Fierstein has provided director Moisés Kaufman with a newly edited text; the revival will be titled simply Torch Song.

“It’s 1979 in New York City and Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family,“ read 2ST production notes. “He’s fierce in drag and fearless in crisis, and he won’t stop until he achieves the life he desires as a doting husband and a Jewish mother. Now, Arnold is back…and he’s here to sing you a torch song. The Tony-winning play that forever changed the trajectory of Broadway returns for a new generation.“

“’Thirty-five years?’ I thought, ‘It’s time!’ I’m thrilled that Second Stage Theatre will be reviving Torch Song Trilogy next season,” commented Fierstein in a press statement. “In conversation, I’ve been encouraging director Moisés Kaufman to look at the play with fresh eyes. I would never think of rewriting the plays but have given him a newly edited text that re-conceives the way I want the story told. Theatre is a living breathing entity and so are audiences. Even the most faithful stage recreations are tinted by the moment in which they are experienced. I’ve asked [2ST artistic director] Carole Rothman to call the evening simply, Torch Song, and let’s see what truths we can preserve, what histories we can rediscover and what futures we can forge together. Living theatre has always been my life’s goal.”

After an acclaimed Off-Broadway debut, Torch Song Trilogy opened on Broadway in June 1982 and played an award-winning three-year engagement at the Little Theatre (now the Helen Hayes Theatre). Fierstein played the lead role of Arnold Beckoff, a gay drag performer in a tempestuous relationship with his bisexual, closeted lover. The play won Fierstein two Tony awards—both as playwright (for Best Play) and for Best Actor. It was produced throughout the country and also turned into a film in 1988 starring Fierstein, Matthew Broderick, and Anne Bancroft.

Torch Song is set to begin previews September 26 and will officially open in late October at Off-Broadway’s Tony Kiser Theatre. Additional casting and a complete creative team will be announced at a later date.

PLAYBILL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *