Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great Movies - Torch Song Trilogy

In honor of the NYC trip, I thought I would offer up a few scenes from a quintessential NYC movie, Torch Song Trilogy. Way back when, in a time far, far away, I had gone to see Harvey Fierstien on Broadway, performing this live. The play opened on June 10, 1982 and ran for 1222 performances, closing on May 19, 1985. It was the Tony for Best Actor in a Play for Harvey, and Best Play. The Tony was accepted by John Glines, a Co0producer, who was the first man to thank a lover in a nationally televised ceremony.

Torch Song was basically a collection of three one-act plays about the gay condition in the late 70s. The first was The International Stud, about Arnold, a Jewish drag queen, meeting Ed, a somewhat scared and confused suburban school teacher, in a bar complete with a backroom that is never used for storage. Lady Blues, a torch singer, adds the background music for the show. Then there is Fugue in a Nursery, a delightful quick and clever comedy in the style of Noel Coward, with Arnold and new boyfriend Alan going away for the weekend to stay with Ed and his wife, Laurel. The final act is Widows and Children First!, slated as five years after Fugue. It covers Arnold dealing with several things in his life he has not dealt with before, like his mother, Alan's death, and his love for Ed. Thankfully, he has adopted son David to help him along the way. The movie version was a bit more literal and realistic. Here is the trailer for the movie.

In the movie, Arnold has two solos when he sings as Virginia Ham. First there is the classic torch song, Love For Sale.

Arnold also sings about his dietary habits in Svelte.

You can purchase the DVD of Torch song Trilogy at Amazon here. One day, I hope I get the chance to meet Harvey Fierstein and have the chance to thank him for his fantastic talent and work, and get him to sign my ancient copy of the plays.


  1. Great movie. I really enjoy that movie every time I see it. We should watch it more often because it really is a great film. Hope you enjoy NYC. "What's not to enjoy?"

  2. Another movie that literally changed my life. I cannot adequately express how much this film means to me.

  3. Stan, I hear you. Had fun in NYC, and LOVE this movie.

    Larry, I feel the same way about the play. I saw Harvey do it on Broadway, and it was just a revelation!



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