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Michael Urie to star in a revamp of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy

Flickr / © Carol Rosegg

Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning LGBT+ play Torch Song Trilogy will return to New York this year — with a new name and new star!

Ugly Better actor Michael Urie will play the leading role of Arnold Beckoff — the same character that won Harvey the 1983 Tony Award for best actor.

The show tells the story of Arnold, a gay man working as a female impersonator in 70s New York City. He and his lover face tragedy and an overbearing mother who has never quite approved of her son’s, well, ‘lifestyle choice’.

The off-Broadway revival will also go under a new title — Torch Song. It will play at the Second Stage Theatre, with performances beginning on 26 September. Moisés Kaufman will direct.

Related: Exclusive: Harvey Fierstein on working with Ariana Grande and donning the heels again for Hairspray Live

Commenting on the show returning to New York, Harvey said:“Thirty-five years? I thought, ‘It’s time!’

“In conversation, 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.”

He added: “Let’s see what truths we can preserve, what histories we can rediscover and what futures we can forge together.”

Speaking to GT as he prepared to star as Edna in Hairspray Live, Harvey recalled the importance of Torch Song Trilogy.

“One of the things that held back Torch Song Trilogy moving from Broadway to London for a year was that they didn’t want the backroom scene — the sex scene,” he explained. “They told me I had to cut all of it, which I just simply refused.

“In London, I felt I could stand for 40 or 50 minutes on stage and get fucked up the ass and the audience would just adore it! You have a totally different way of looking at physical comedy in the UK and it’s the same with drag.

“You have it in your British culture as you have the pantomime notion in such a way that we [the USA] didn’t back then, so it made a difference. We [the USA] now have drag, but when I first started writing, there wasn’t much. I grew up with drag, personally, as I spent so much of my childhood in the artistic community and the East Village.”

Related: Review: Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina at Southwark Playhouse

Download GT to read our full and EXCLUSIVE interview with Harvey Fierstein about his important, historic and rather fabulous career. Via gtdigi.co.uk.

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