REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Torch Song” Opened with a ShowScore of 87

Show-Score | Oct 20, 2017
“Torch Song,” written by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Moises Kaufman, opened on October 19, 2017 in New York City. “Torch Song,” written by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Moises Kaufman, opened on October 19, 2017 in New York City.


18 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 74.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 85
"This latest incarnation of 'Torch Song'...finds an irresistibly compelling gravity beneath the glibness...Kaufman and Urie make sure we see the vital links between camp comic postures and the genuine fear and pain that lie beneath...Urie and Ruehl take the show to a level of emotional truthfulness that makes objections to ungainly construction feel beside the point...Kaufman’s stirring production propels an ostensible period piece into a vibrant present."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 70
"Bedroom politics dominate the first two acts, but the high stakes of the play come into focus during the emotional roller coaster of the third...Few actors can switch between comedy and drama and make it seem as natural as Urie does...Kaufman satisfactorily stages the plays and their clashing styles without adding much else...Despite an unremarkable production, 'Torch Song' still captivates with the strength of Fierstein's writing, which feels as fresh as ever."
Adam Feldman
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 80
"A welcome and well-assembled revival of Fierstein’s plangently funny and touching play...Director Moisés Kaufman’s production retools it effectively for its new star, the different but very appealing Michael Urie...Kaufman works hard to dispel any scent of schmaltz, sometimes to somewhat dry effect; the central fight between Arnold and his Ma gets a little buried. But the overall approach seems right: It gently and lovingly tends to Fierstein’s flame."

“Torch Song” was also reviewed by Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Christopher Kelly of, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Robert Sholiton of Gotham Playgoer, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Matt Windman of AM New York, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, and Jonathan Mandell of DC Theatre Scene.


The show was also reviewed by 143 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 88.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining

Er S, ShowScore: 91
See it if…"You want to see something that's fundamentally human. A protagonist so lovable that you laugh and cry with him. I didn't want it to end."
Don't see it if…"You have a trouble relationship with your parents and this topic upsets you."
Jim 8, ShowScore: 95
See it if…"You have interest in LGBT plays, you want to see an excellent revival of an award-winning play, you want a look into gay relationships."
Don't see it if…"You don't like plays with lgbt issues, you want big production values."
Ashowgoer, ShowScore: 87
See it if…"You’d be interested in a smart, funny, moving play that feels fresh and relevant, even though it was written in the 1980s."
Don't see it if…"You’re offended by talk of gay sex, relationships, and adoption."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.