BWW Countdown: You Get to Rank Your Favorite Harvey Fierstein Shows
Very few stars have had a career that rivals that of the remarkable Harvey Fierstein. A seven-time Tony-nominee, he has two acting wins (TORCH SONG TRILOGY and HAIRSPRAY), one for Best Play (TORCH SONG), and one for Best Book of a Musical (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES). He also has three other Best Book nominations (A CATERED AFFAIR, NEWSIES, and KINKY BOOTS). In addition to being a phenomenal writer and actor, Harvey is also one of Broadway's most outspoken activists for the arts and equality, making him Broadway's Unofficial Mayor!
Whether or not he wins number five on Sunday is up to the voters, but now, BroadwayWorld wants to know which of Harvey's shows is your favorite. Take a look at the list, follow @BroadwayWorld on Twitter, and tweet the hashtag #BWWCountdownHarvey and your answer. We will unveil your picks on Friday, June 13th.
After winning his first two Tonys for TORCH SONG TRILOGY, Harvey brought his first musical to the Great White Way with LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, for which he won the 1984 Best Book Tony. While he didn't appear in the original production, he did join the cast in the 2010 Revival. Anytime one of Harvey's shows is on Broadway, it is "The Best of Times."
Bonus Points if you know why this promo picture is a bit ironic.
Long before I knew what the Broadway was, I knew who Robin Williams' make-up artist brother in MRS. DOUBTFIRE was. So, while this not a Broadway show (yet), for those in my generation, this was my first exposure to Mr. Fierstein.
Harvey returned to the Broadway stage for the first time in 15 years in 2002, and for the first time in a show that he didn't write in HAIRSPRAY. Taking over the role made famous by Divine in the original movie, Harvey sleighed audiences as Edna Turnblad, becoming only the second person to win a Tony for playing a character of the opposite gender (More Bonus Points if you can name the first). Whether it is as a writer or actor, Harvey, you're "Timeless to Me."
The BWW TV Archive has video of Harvey and the original HAIRSPRAY cast performing at the 2002 Tonys (click here). We also have a bunch of photos, including Performance and Curtain Call Shots of Harvey's return to the show in 2008 and from the Closing Night Performance and Closing Night Curtain Call. Finally, we have two galleries of Performance Shots (Part 1 and Part 2) of Harvey in the Hollywood Bowl production.
It is rare to see a star of Harvey's stature replace in a Broadway production, let alone to go on the road and tour. Yet, Harvey took over the role of Tevye from Alfred Molina in the 2004 revival. Then he replaced Chaim Topol (Tevye from the movie) when Topol's injured shoulder became difficult to maintain the demanding performance schedule. Harvey, if you ever ask me, "Do You Love Me?", the answer will be, "Yes, yes I do."
The BroadwayWorld Archive has shots of Harvey's Opening Night Performance and Curtain Call, along with his Golda, Rosie O'Donnell.
While Harvey is traditionally known for his big, entertaining personality, his 2008 musical A CATERED AFFAIR is a small, touching story of an extended family (and my favorite Fierstein-penned show). As Uncle Winston, Harvey brings both laughs and heartache. I wish Harvey was part of my "Immediate Family."
The BroadwayWorld Archive has shots from the Opening Night Curtain Call, as well as from the Opening Night Party. However, the most exciting CATERED AFFAIR BWW coverage is that for nearly a year, Harvey wrote a blog exclusively on BroadwayWorld. The column chronicled the prep and run of A CATERED AFFAIR, as well as the other happenings in the fabulous life of Broadway's Favorite Son. You can read all of his blogs here.
At first, Disney saw NEWSIES as an opportunity to reboot a much-maligned cult classic for regional and school performances. However, when the show had its World Premiere at the Papermill Playhouse, there was no doubt that Harvey, Alan Menken, and Jack Feldman had a hit on their hands. They quickly scrambled to bring the show to Broadway, where it was nominated for eight Tonys, winning two. As if there was ever a question, Harvey was once again, "King of New York."
The BWW TV Archive has a Sneak Peek of NEWSIES' pre-Broadway run at the Papermill Playhouse, as well as a Behind the Scenes look of NEWSIES' Broadway Opening Night. We also have galleries of photos from the Opening Night Red Carpet, the Opening Night Curtain Call, and the Opening Night Party.
Just a year after his NEWSIES success, Harvey was back on Broadway with his new musical KINKY BOOTS, featuring music and lyrics by pop-music icon Cyndi Lauper. The show pulled in a whopping 13 Tony noms and won six, including Best Musical. Carrying on the tradition of Harvey appearing in his own shows, who else thinks he would make a fierce Lola? Now that would be "The Most Beautiful Thing."
The BWW TV Archive has some fun Performance Highlights. Also, BWW's Richard Ridge spoke to the cast and creative team six months before the show's Broadway Opening (click here) and on Opening Night. We also have Performance Shots and photos of the Opening Night Curtain Call.
Harvey's current Tony-nominated show, CASA VALENTINA, tells the story of a group of heterosexual men who congregated at a bungalow colony in the '60s to dress as women. The show, Harvey's third currently running on Broadway, is nominated for four Tonys, including Best Play.
The BroadwayWorld Archive has Performance Shots (Gallery 1 and Gallery 2), Red Carpet photos, and pictures from the Opening Night Celebration. On the TV side, we have a Sneak Peek from the show, Red Carpet interviews, and discussions with the cast at the Opening Night Party.
Still need more Harvey (and who doesn't)? Check some other features from the BroadwayWorld Archive:
- The day after his nomination for CASA VALENTINA, Harvey stopped by the Tony Photo Booth and spoke to BWW's Richard Ridge about where he keeps his six Tonys (click here).
- In 2013, Harvey spoke to BWW about his 30 years on Broadway (click here).
- Last year, after a much-maligned Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Harvey took up for his cast in a BWW Exclusive.
- In preparing for the 2012 Tonys, we took a look at Harvey's amazing career with a Photo Blast From the Past.
Now, follow @BroadwayWorld on Twitter and vote for your favorite Harvey role by tweeting your pick and the hashtag #BWWCountdownHarvey. Then remember to check back Friday, June 13th to see the results.