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 Fierstein. Arnold is a downtown drag queen looking for love, a reconciliation with his mother and possibly a new pair of bunny slippers.
Torch Song Trilogy opened on Broadway at the Little Theatre (now the Helen Hayes Theatre, which is owned by Second Stage and is being upgraded and refurbished) on June 10, 1982. It won Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play (Fierstein) and ran 1,222 performances. It also was turned into a 1988 film, starring Fierstein, Matthew Broderick and Anne Bancroft, directed by Paul Bogart. Prior to Broadway, the show ran off-Broadway at the Richard Allen Center, produced by the Glines, and also at La Mama and the Actor’s Playhouse.
“’Thirty-five years? I thought, ‘It’s time!’” Fierstein said in the announcement. “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 re-creations are tinted by the moment in which they are experienced. I’ve asked [Second Stage 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 theater has always been my life’s goal.”
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