Moises Kaufman Will Helm Revival of Harvey Fierstein's TORCH SONG with Michael Urie This Fall
Second Stage Theatre has announced that it will present the 35th Anniversary Production of Harvey Fierstein's modern classic, TORCH SONG, directed by Moisés Kaufman, this fall at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43rd street). TORCH SONG will begin previews September 26, 2017 and will officially open in late October.
Michael Urie, winner of the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and LA Critics Award for his performance in Buyer & Cellar, will star as Arnold Beckoff, the role created by and originally played by Mr. Fierstein.
Additional casting and complete creative team will be announced at a later date.
"'Thirty-five years?' I thought, 'It's time!' I'm thrilled that Second Stage Theatre will be reviving Torch Song Trilogy next season," said playwright Harvey Fierstein. "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 reconceives the way I want the story told. Theater 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 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 theater has always been my life's goal."
"On a winter night in 1982 a friend brought me to see a play at the Actor's Playhouse that turned out to be one of the most human, hilarious, and heartbreaking nights I'd spent in the theatre. The play was Torch Song Trilogy," said Artistic Director Carole Rothman. "And while I knew I was watching something extremely special, I had no idea how groundbreaking this play would become for generations of theatregoers and, ultimately, for Broadway. It is a significant honor to bring this landmark play back to New York City and I thank Harvey for entrusting it to Second Stage."
It's 1979 in New York City and Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family. 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 Award-winning play that forever changed the trajectory of Broadway returns for a new generation.
Torch Song Trilogy opened on Broadway at the Little Theatre (now the Helen Hayes Theatre) on June 10, 1982, where it enjoyed a groundbreaking run, earning Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play (Mr. Fierstein) and running for 1,222 performances, closing on May 19, 1985. The play has been produced extensively across the country and around the world, including productions in London's West End and Menier Chocolate Factory. It was also turned into a 1988 film, starring Mr. Fierstein, Matthew Broderick, and Anne Bancroft, directed by Paul Bogart. Prior to its move to Broadway, Torch Song Trilogy ran off-Broadway at the Richard Allen Center, produced by The Glines, and also at La Mama and The Actor's Playhouse.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Michael Urie (Arnold Beckoff) originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar Off-Broadway, on tour, and in London, for which he received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. New York theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), Shows For Days (LCT), Homos, Or Everyone In America (LAByrinth), The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for Two River, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.). Film: He's Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV: Gavin Sinclair on Modern Family, Younger, Workaholics, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and Marc St. James on Ugly Betty. He currently hosts the Logo series Cocktails And Classics. Web series:What's Your Emergency (director). Training: Juilliard.
Harvey Fierstein (Playwright) won two Tony Awards for Torch Song Trilogy (Best Play, Best Actor). He has also written the Tony-winning hit Kinky Boots (now playing on four continents), as well as La Cage aux Folles (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Newsies (Tony nominated), Casa Valentina (Tony nominated), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex (Ace Award), Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush Tosca, Common Ground and more. He recently wrote teleplays for NBC's live TV broadcasts of Hairspray and The Wiz and the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie. He also revised the book for Funny Girl, which ran to critical acclaim in London. His political editorials have been published in the New York Times, TV Guide and the Huffington Post, and broadcast on PBS's "In the Life." His children's book, The Sissy Duckling (Humanitas Award), is now in its fifth printing. As an actor, Mr. Fierstein is known worldwide for his performances in films including "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Independence Day" and "Bullets Over Broadway," on stage in Hairspray (Tony Award), Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles, and on TV shows such as "Smash," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Good Wife," "Cheers" (Emmy nomination), "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," and "Nurse Jackie."
MOISÉS KAUFMAN (Director) was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in September. He is also a Tony and Emmy-nominated director and playwright. Broadway credits include The Heiress with Jessica Chastain; 33 Variations (which he also wrote) with Jane Fonda (5 Tony nominations); Rajiv Joseph's Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams; and the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife. His plays, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project, are among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which received two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is currently directing and writing a new Broadway-bound adaptation of Bizet's Carmen with Grammy-winning composer Arturo O'Farrill. He is the artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Playwrighting Fellow.
Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America's best Contemporary Theatre, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I'm Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy and Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Crowns by ReGina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.
The company's more than 130 citations include the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal) and Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 29 Obie Awards, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Clarence Derwent Awards, 13 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 17 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.
In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened The Tony Kiser Theatre, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched "Second Stage Theatre Uptown" series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre. The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.
In 2015 Second Stage Theatre purchased the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street. With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city's Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Second Stage Theatre has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 103 year old landmark building. Renovations are currently underway. Second Stage's first Broadway production is scheduled to be staged in the Hayes during the 2017-18 season. For more information, visit www.2ST.com.