Torch Song Trilogy

Sept. 4—Oct. 27 $39–$75
Studio Theatre
1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC
Map
(202) 332-3300
Studio Theatre's production of Torch Song Trilogy leaves audiences with a variety of feelings: Brittle and silly one moment, hopelessly stagey in another, urgent and acid and fierce in the next, it’s a rough beast of a play—three one-acts, initially, herded catlike into a sprawling emotional spatter-painting of a story. It’s three decades old, too, and it can feel as dated as a Flock of Seagulls video, even in the considered, judiciously trimmed staging that Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn has put together for Studio Theatre. But in that third act, when Harvey Fierstein’s noisily neurotic alter-ego of a hero finally distills the show’s themes of loneliness and want into one firehose torrent, Torch Song becomes what its title promises: a narrative lament, a ballad of pain distilled, a chronicle of struggle that heals and strengthens. And in that one brutal sequence, when Arnold Beckoff, trembling with rage and hurt and exhaustion, turns to his uncomprehending fossil of a mother to insist on his humanity and tell her that there are only two things he needs from her—love, he says hungrily, and respect—Torch Song Trilogy finally owns the audience. [TG]

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July 9—Aug. 3
Studio Theatre -
1501 14th St. NW
$40–$45

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