Torch Song (Off-Broadway)
Closed 2h 40m
Torch Song (Off-Broadway)
87

Torch Song (Off-Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

87%
(377 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
3%
Negative
1%
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.

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Member Reviews (377)

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1003 Reviews | 412 Followers
91
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.

1048 Reviews | 254 Followers
79
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.

546 Reviews | 1881 Followers
80
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.

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
85
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

534 Reviews | 132 Followers
81
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.

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
90
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. Read more

407 Reviews | 249 Followers
80
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. Read more

Nic
457 Reviews | 87 Followers
89
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.

Critic Reviews (35)

The New York Times
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 truthfulness that makes objections to ungainly construction feel beside the point...Kaufman’s stirring production propels an ostensible period piece into a vibrant present."
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Time Out New York
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 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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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...Urie is making the character undeniably his own...It isn’t that 'Torch Song' never feels dated...But the third act’s raw, desperate explosions between mother and son feel powerfully present."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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' is a more pallid ballad, bittersweet and frequently funny but lacking the vitality to fully sustain its two-hour-40-minute run time."
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Variety
October 20th, 2017

“An affectionate if ill-considered revival…As imperfectly directed here by Moises Kaufman, Urie has made little attempt to make the role of Arnold his own…The trimmed-down show has kept its basic storyline but lost some of its grace notes…Arnold’s story is as sweet as ever…Does this history piece hold up? Yes, in the sense that the show is kind to its characters and true to its dated sensibilities. No, in the sense that the characters are unbelievably sweet and its sensibilities are dated.”
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The Wall Street Journal
October 19th, 2017

"The only thing wrong with Second Stage’s revival, which has been very effectively directed by Moisés Kaufman, is Mr. Urie, a fine actor who is miscast as Mr. Fierstein...Mr. Urie is a whiny, slimmed-down one-note version of Arnold, thus putting him at a hopeless disadvantage when he goes up against Ruehl...It’s full of bright nuggets of truth that get lost among the punch lines. Does it still come off? Absolutely, and not just as a period piece, either."
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The Observer
October 24th, 2017

“’Everything old is new again’ might as well be the theme song for ‘Torch Song’...Under the new title...I am pleased to say it has lost none of its wit, heart, wisdom, poignancy or purpose...The result seems more modern, introspective, and better shaped. The production is well-served by a terrific cast, especially Urie and Ruehl...’Torch Song’ stands as a brave, brilliantly conceived period piece...Timelier than ever.”
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Deadline
October 19th, 2017

"New but not exactly fresh. It builds humorously if haltingly, through performances that push too hard...Uneven direction...The physical humor never quite works. But the hollerfest is pungent, and it’s amazing, too...Urie skates across Arnold’s words...Ruehl is fiery and on top of her game...One element he’s given surprisingly short shrift in this revision is that wrenching music...That’s what’s just off-the-mark here. What’s missing isn’t the trilogy, it’s a torch."
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