Mercedes Ruehl Joins 'Torch Song Trilogy' Revival

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Mercedes Ruehl

The Oscar and Tony winner will appear opposite Michael Urie in the off-Broadway staging of Harvey Fierstein's landmark play about a drag performer's search for love.

Arnold Beckoff has found his Ma.

Mercedes Ruehl will return to the New York stage to play Mrs. Beckoff this fall in Second Stage Theatre's off-Broadway revival of the landmark Harvey Fierstein play, Torch Song Trilogy.

The veteran actress, who won an Academy Award in 1992 for The Fisher King and a Tony in 1991 for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, will appear opposite the previously announced Michael Urie as her character's son Arnold, a gay New Yorker and professional drag queen, driven in his quest to become a loving husband and a Jewish mother just like his own.

The tragicomic play was a breakthrough work in gay-themed theater, transferring after its hit downtown premiere in 1982 to a Broadway run that lasted three years, winning Tonys for best play and best actor for Fierstein, who originated the role of Arnold onstage.

Estelle Getty starred opposite him on Broadway as Ma Beckoff. Fierstein reprised his role in the 1988 film version, with Anne Bancroft as his mother.

Moises Kaufman will direct the upcoming revival, which is set to begin previews Sept. 26 at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater, with an official opening on Oct. 19. Further casting is to be announced.

In addition to programming its regular off-Broadway lineup, Second Stage is gearing up for its debut season on Broadway at the newly refurbished Helen Hayes Theatre, beginning in March with Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, starring Chris Evans and Michael Cera.

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