Second Stage Theatre has announced that Tony, Oscar, and Golden Globe Award winner Mercedes Ruehl will star opposite the previously announced Michael Urie in the upcoming production of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song. Ruehl will play Ma, the mother of Arnold Beckoff, played by Urie. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
In 1991, Ruehl won a Tony Award for her role in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, and the following year, earned an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for her role as Anne Napolitano in Terry Gilliam's film The Fisher King. She received additional Tony nominations for her roles in The Shadow Box (1995) and Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2002).
Directed by Moisés Kaufman, Torch Song will begin previews September 26 in advance of an October 19 opening at the Tony Kiser Theater. The play is described as follows: "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."
A collection of three plays, Torch Song Trilogy opened on Broadway at the Little Theatre (now the Helen Hayes) on June 10, 1982, where it enjoyed a groundbreaking run, earning Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play (Fierstein) and running for 1,222 performances, closing on May 19, 1985. Before 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 Actors' Playhouse.
Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Monday, July 24, at 1 p.m.
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