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Torch Song (Off-Broadway)

From 375 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing

About the show

Second Stage presents a revival of Harvey Fierstein's Tony-winning comedy. Starring Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie ('Ugly Betty,') and Oscar and Tony winner Mercedes Ruehl. More…

Equal parts comic and heart-wrenching, "Torch Song" follows Arnold Beckoff's odyssey to find happiness in New York. All he wants is a husband, a child and a pair of bunny slippers that fit, but a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that he needs one thing more: respect. Join Arnold on this all too human journey about the families we're born into, the families we choose and the battles to bring them all home. Directed by Tony nominee Moisés Kaufman ("The Laramie Project," "I Am My Own Wife").

Member Reviews (375)


Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing
Avg Score

Funny, Great acting, Profound, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You’re a friend of Dorothy...especially if like me you’ve only seen the movie and if you’re moved by gay issues, especially from the 80’s.

Don't see it if You’re homophobic or don’t care about gay subject matter.

Banal, Dated, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like a period piece that was once more relevant then it is now.

Don't see it if You don't want to see something that deals with this issue.

Entertaining, Resonant, Slow, Dated

See it if You want to see a star turn by Urie. It felt like two plays with the second act being stronger. Enjoyed it but expected more.

Don't see it if You don’t like kvetchy humor or gay themed shows.

Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Raunchy, Thought-provoking

See it if A reboot of Fierstein's 80's gay landmark dramedy Part history lesson part social study & all love story this song still sings. Urie's great

Don't see it if Kaufmann's direction gets a little slack in 2nd act where a lot of the editing is but ensemble carries the load. Reuhl galvanizes 3rd act

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to see fantastic performances. An important play.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with homosexual themes.

Also Although the play is almost three hours long (one intermission) I was ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Touching, Funny, Disappointing, Relevant

See it if You delight in the stage presence of Mercedes Ruhl; you appreciate the wonderful writing and emotion of Harvey.

Don't see it if you cannot help but compare to the original. Harvey's emotion felt real, while Urie's feels forced and over acted though lovable.

Clever, Funny, Masterful, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see top notch theater performed beautifully. Funny and poignant this tops my list for the year.

Don't see it if You don't like stories about homosexuality or unconventional families. This story isn't for everyone so go into it with a little background.

Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if you'd enjoy touching, sad, funny, terrific performances of a slightly dated piece that's just a little too long.

Don't see it if you object to LGBTQ themes.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Resonant, Dated

See it if Great performances. A look at a very difficult time for gay people, that is thwnkfully, over.

Don't see it if I found it hard to look at how difficult gay people’s lives were then. It was painful to watch how casually cruel people were.

Entertaining, Dated, Quirky

See it if You didn’t see the original. If you want to see current truths viewed through a slightly dated lens

Don't see it if You don’t like openly discussed and demonstrated homosexual situations.

Also Michael Urie’s manic performance takes much of the pathos out of the p... Read more Read less

Mercedes ruehls

See it if you want to see a still relevant, funny, touching play with a marvelous performance by Mercedes Ruehl in the last ( & by far the best)act

Don't see it if you are not interested in gay themed plays.

Also I saw the original show with Harvey F. who fully inhabited the part of... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you'd enjoy a revival of a theater work that still deeply resonates without feeling dated (unlike The Heidi Chronicles, for example.)

Don't see it if I can't think of a reason.

Masterful, Dedicated performances, Heartfelt, Riveting, Inspiring

See it if you want to laugh, cry, and be a human being connected to a world that keeps on spinning beyond control, with humor and tragedy alike.

Don't see it if you can't bear the thought of a trimmer version of the Trilogy; are homophobic; dislike "heavy" dramas punctuated by humor; misanthropic.

Also An exquisite look at the life, loves, and losses of Arnold Beckoff as ... Read more Read less

Cliched, Dated, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if Having seen Harvey in the magnificent original production ,this revival is unfortunately off the mark. The acting by Michael was a parody.

Don't see it if You are homophobic or remember Harvey's incredible performance the first time around.

Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Riveting

See it if You want to see a lovely production of this WONDERFUL script. Moving and heartbreaking. Michael Uri and Mercedes Rules give great perf.

Don't see it if You are looking for light fare or a musical.

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You want to see a heartfelt play about LGBT issues that are still relevant today. Both funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

Don't see it if You can still envision Harvey Fierstein in the role of Arnold. Michael Urie is great but too much whining in his delivery at times.

Dated, Funny

See it if you are a fan of actor Michael Urie.

Don't see it if you are using the show as a way for you to come out to your parents- it will prompt topics no gay man wants to discuss with their parents.

Also DISCLAIMER: In fall of 1985, I had the great good fortune to see actor... Read more Read less

Dated in history but as timely and relevant as ever, Great acting, Must see, Resonant, Masterful

See it if you want to see a near flawless script performed brilliantly. Urie and Ruehl are exquisite. I was invested from beginning to end.

Don't see it if you are not interested in LGBTQ issues or stories

Also I was blown away by this fantastic production. I wasn't too familiar w... Read more Read less

Great acting, Masterful, Intense, Beautiful, Funny

See it if You like great plays, good characters, snappy lines, sitcoms, and emotional pain.

Don't see it if You don't like more historical plays (with some dated references), monologues, or long plays with few characters.

Also Michael Urie is an absolute joy, giving an impassioned, exceptional, c... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Funny

See it if Harvey Fierstein is a hero of theater and social issue. Mercedes Reuhl and Michael Urie. Missed the original.

Don't see it if Homophobic...actually, people-phobic. Looking for the Trilogy- something missing,

Great writing, Great acting, Dated, Funny

See it if you are a fan of Harvey Feinstein, you will enjoy this revival of one of his best plays.

Don't see it if you prefer heterosexual plays or musicals.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Delightful

See it if You adore Michael Urie (and who doesn't?), and enjoy heart-warming relationship stories.

Don't see it if You don't like stories about same-sex relationships.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You want a tour de force performance from Michael Urie, in a role that should be owned by Harvey Fierstein. The whole cast was spectacular.

Don't see it if You want your revivals exactly the same. There were many tweaks and massive cuts. Don’t see it if you don’t like the gays. :) Lots of gays.

Entertaining, Funny, Romantic, Resonant, Dated

See it if You can forgive a play that feels dated at times but which ultimately proves emotionally resonant and rewarding.

Don't see it if You cannot abide someone stepping into Harvey,s shoes to play the lead role.

Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Resonant

See it if Great revival by terrific ensemble especially Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl revealing powerful emotions behind the wisecracking

Don't see it if You have issues with family drama especially with a gay overtone

October 19th, 2017
"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 truthfulne...
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October 19th, 2017
"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 eff...
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October 19th, 2017
"Fierstein could have been a bit more merciless...'Torch Song' starts to lose steam by the end of the night. But here’s the good news: For the most part, the production feels like a case of too much of a pretty good thing. It’s charming, intelligent, and, at 40 years old, often strikingly fresh.....
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October 19th, 2017
"In Second Stage's choppy revival, director Moises Kaufman and star Michael Urie battle against that past association by inflating the lead role into an emphatic caricature...Without Fierstein's own unique brand of big-hearted, sloppy sentimentality inhabiting the central character, 'Torch Song' ...
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