Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning Torch Song Trilogy is returning to the New York stage. Michael Urie will headline Second Stage’s 35th-anniversary production this fall, playing Arnold Beckoff (the role originated by Fierstein). Moisés Kaufman will direct the revival of the seminal gay-themed work, which will drop the “Trilogy” and run as Torch Song this time around. Performances will begin on September 26 off-Broadway.
“’Thirty-five years?’ I thought, ‘It’s time!’” Fierstein said in a statement. “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 reconceive the way I want the story told.” He continued, “Let’s see what truths we can preserve, what histories we can rediscover and what futures we can forge together.”
Fierstein won Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in 1983 for the play’s Broadway premiere. The show follows Arnold in three stages of his life as a gay man in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, from his time as a drag queen to his quest to settle down to raising a teenager. The Stonewall riots, the queer club scene and the AIDS crisis serve as the backdrop for these important milestones in Arnold’s path.
Urie’s New York stage credits include Buyer & Cellar (which earned him Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Shows For Days Angels in America, The Temperamentals and, most recently, Homos, Or Everyone in America. On screen, he’s known for his work on Ugly Betty, Younger, Modern Family and Partners.
Prior to the Second Stage revival, Fierstein will star alongside fellow Tony winner Gabe Ebert in the world premiere of a show with similar themes: Gently Down the Stream. Martin Sherman’s play will begin performances on March 14 at the Public Theater.
Additional casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.