Tony and Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl has signed on for Second Stage Theatre’s fall revival of Harvey Fierstein’s landmark dramedy Torch Song. Michael Urie will star as looking-for-love gay drag artist Arnold Beckoff, the role originated by Fierstein, which ran more than 1,200 performances in the 1980s and earned Fierstein Tony Awards as best play author and star.
Ruehl (The Fisher King, Lost In Yonkers) will play Arnold’s mother, a role taken by Anne Bancroft in the 1988 film (the original play and movie were titled Torch Song Trilogy). Moisés Kaufman is directing the production, which will run at Second Stage’s off-Broadway flagship on West 43rd Street. The company recently purchased a Broadway theater, the Helen Hayes, where Torch Song Trilogy had its storied run from 1982 through 1985. The house is being renovated and the company plans to open its first shows there next spring.
Torch Song is slated to begin previews September 26 at the Tony Kiser Theater and open October 19, artistic director Carole Rothman and executive director Casey Reitz said in the announcement today. The creative team includes David Zinn (sets); Clint Ramos (costumes); David lander, lighting; and Fitz Patton, sound. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.