After raves, extensions, and a sold-out run at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage, Torch Song with that production’s stars—Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl—is headed to Broadway. Directing is Tony nominee Moisés Kaufman (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo; I Am My Own Wife).
When Torch Song opens at the Helen Hayes Theatre on November 1st, it will be the play’s first Broadway revival since it debuted in 1982 with playwright/actor/multi-Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein in his breakthrough role as Arnold Beckoff—a drag performer with a penchant for bunny slippers—in his search for a husband, a child, and respect, the latter primarily from his outspoken mother.
Interestingly, the current show is being mounted in the same theatre, formerly Broadway’s Little Theatre, where the original (under the title Torch Song Trilogy) ran for three years.
Producer Richie Jackson, who announced the transfer from Off- to On-Broadway, said “For Broadway audiences, Harvey has always been a beacon of heart and humor, and in this, his signature play, we see our families and ourselves. We need to see that again now.”
Fierstein—currently represented on Broadway with the hit musical Kinky Boots—had this to say: “Seeing this new production of Torch Song was thrilling. The audiences’ laughter seemed heartier, their tears more profound, and I could not have been happier. Now comes the news that we’re moving home to the Hayes Theater this fall and all I can say is, dreams do come true!”
As for the two lead cast members, well let’s just say they each come with their own staggering “wow” factor. Ruehl is both an Oscar (The Fisher King) and Tony Award (Lost in Yonkers) winner, while Julliard grad Urie, who is best known to TV and web-series fans for his fabulously snarky Marc St. James on Ugly Betty and its spin-off Mode After Hours, has had brilliant Off-Broadway showings in Buyer & Cellar and The Temperamentals (both landing him Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), and The Government Inspector. He made his Broadway debut in 2012 as Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
In the present, should you wish to sample Urie’s directing skills, the hit solo comedy Bright Colors and Bold Patterns starring Jeff Hiller will be playing at the SoHo Playhouse through 3/11!