The Human Race Theatre to Present TORCH SONG TRILOGY, Begin. 1/30
The Human Race Theatre Company starts 2014 with Harvey Fierstein's award-winning and rarely-produced three-act play, Torch Song Trilogy. Poignant and filled with witty, sharp humor, Fierstein's deeply personal story of self-discovery redefined an era in gay America. What begins as a chance encounter in a New York nightclub leads drag-queen Arnold Beckoff in a hilarious, yet touching, pursuit of love, happiness and a life of which he can be proud. From a failed affair with a reluctant lover, to a committed relationship with a young model and the promise of a stable family, Arnold's struggle for acceptance meets its greatest challenge in his intolerant mother.
Torch Song Trilogy originated as a series of one-act plays - International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery and Widows and Children First! - that premiered individually Off-Off-Broadway at La MaMa ETC beginning in 1978, when actor/writer Harvey Fierstein was just 23 years old. The three plays were then united under the umbrella title Torch Song Trilogy and presented Off-Broadway in 1981 at the Actors' Playhouse, where it received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The production then transferred to Broadway in 1982, ran for 1,222 performances, and won Fierstein Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor. Fierstein has been an icon for Gay America since the 80s and is well-known to audiences for his gravelly voice and witty dialogue. In addition to his early success with Torch Song Trilogy, he also wrote the books for the Broadway musicals La Cage aux Folles (for which he won a second Tony Award), A Catered Affair, Newsies and Kinky Boots. He has performed onstage in such Broadway shows as La Cage aux Folles, Hairspray and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as in numerous films and television shows.
"Torch Song was written in a time before AIDS, before the debate over Marriage Equality," says Producing Artistic Director Kevin Moore. "Revisiting this amazing script was not a political choice, it was a 'human' choice. This story speaks volumes about our individual struggles for love and acceptance - and it applies to any era. By setting the play in its original time period-the late 1970s to early 1980s-we are given a chance to see both how far we have come...and not come."
Director and Human Race Resident Artist Scott Stoney (Next to Normal; Caroline, or Change; August: Osage County) leads The Human Race's production with a talented cast of six actors: Jamison Stern (Broadway's By Jeeves and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, national tours of Beauty and the Beast and Little Shop of Horrors) as "Arnold", Resident Artists Jamie Cordes (Next to Normal, right next to me) as "Ed" and Patricia Linhart (Becky's New Car, The Drowsy Chaperone) as "Mrs. Beckoff" and "Lady Blues", Lisa Ann Goldsmith (Macbeth, Pittsburgh Public Theatre's As You Like It) as "Laurel", Jon Hacker (Next to Normal, Wright State University's Oklahoma!) as "Alan" and Stivers School for the Arts student Philip Thomas Stock (Muse Machine's All You Need Is Love, Dayton Theatre Guild's Lost in Yonkers) as "David".
The Dayton-based drag performance group The Rubi Girls will serve as hosts for the Friday, January 31 opening night performance. The Greater Dayton LGBT Center has partnered with The Human Race to present "LGBT Pride Night at The Loft Theatre" for the Tuesday, February 11 evening performance. Center members can purchase discounted tickets through its website: www.daytonlgbtcenter.org.
The production sponsors for Torch Song Trilogy are Sam Rinehart CFP, CLU Private Wealth Advisor - Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Rob and Leesa Comparin; Dr. Robert L. Brandt, Jr., MD; AIDS Resource Center Ohio; The City of Dayton Human Relations Council; Larry S. Glickler-Bradford, Connelly & Glickler Funeral Home; and the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center; with additional support from Jon and Diana Sebaly.
Photo by Dirty Sugar Photography