Every day is opening night.

“Mother’s Day”

Ladies and gents,

Believe it or not, I never saw the original Broadway production of Torch Song Trilogy, even though it ran for three years, giving me plenty of opportunities to attend (1,222 to be specific).  I living in LA during the early-mid eighties, and I was in a very dark period.  I was heavy into the Buddhafield movement, and I rarely left the compound.  I broke free of the cult in July of 1985, missing the Broadway run by approximately two months.

Suffice to say, when I heard that Torch Song was coming to Second Stage I felt like I had been given a second chance.  It was like I had been born again again.

Torch Song, for those of you living under a rock (or sequestered in a compound somewhere), is a truncated version of Torch Song Trilogy — the play-in-three-parts that put a young playwright/actor named Harvey Fierstein, already the darling of downtown’s La Mama, on the mainstream map.

I attended the opening on Thursday, and, despite the size of the room, it had all of the energy and excitement of a large scale Broadway opening.  Harvey (the good one) was the belle of the ball, naturally, looking trim in a velvet blazer and a custom brooch he “had made for [his] mother.”  Even pre-show, when pre-review tensions are usually at a fever pitch, he was chatty and at ease.  He knew he had a winner on his hands, I’m guessing.

Director Moisés Kaufman mingled Matthew Broderick (who starred opposite Harvey in the original iterations at La Mama and again on screen for the film adaptation.  Brian Kerwin, also from the film version, was in attendance too.  Producer Richie Jackson was flanked by his proud hubby, the sartorially lionhearted theater mogul Jordan Roth, and their eldest son, Jackson (rocking a “Love Trumps Hate” sweater).  I spotted Daryl Roth in conversation with her Kinky Boots co-producer, Hal Luftig.  Even Dr. Barry Kohn took a break from his busy flu-season schedule to attend!

Michael Urie stars as Arnold, and he’s every bit as brilliant as you want him to be (this will come as no surprise to anyone who saw him in Buyer & Cellar).  It’s one of the finest and most fearless performances we’ve seen in recent years.  Playing Arnold’s mother — a role that defined Estelle Getty before her work on “Golden Girls” redefined her — is Mercedes Ruehl.  You think you know how great she is?  You don’t even have a clue until you see her in this part.  She is so spot on as an judgmental, disapproving and overbearing mother that, for a moment, about halfway through Act II, I thought I was home for the holidays!

But the real miracle is just how well Fierstein’s writing holds up 35 years on.  I can’t imagine it played any fresher or funnier in 1982 as it did last night!

Tidbits from around town…

Saw Washington Post critic Peter Marks having breakfast at Sarabeth’s in Tribeca.

Overheard Dr. Oz, at Soho House, getting pitched a half-hour comedy based on his show.  The meeting went on for more than two hours, so check your local listings.

Spotted Colin Kaepernick hop out of an SUV in the West Village and cause a commotion, posing for selfies with fans.  One guy, after videotaping the whole scene: “I guess he’s out looking for a job.”

As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!


Scoop V.