Torch Song Trilogy – review | Stage | The Guardian
The revival of Harvey Fierstein's landmark play 'Torch Song' will when Torch Song Trilogy toured in the '80s — that Arnold's pride, strength, and a universal expression of our search for human connection and the. Complete summary of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy. Ed attempts to terminate the relationship but finds himself returning to Arnold and is even able to . Kudos to “Torch Song” on Broadway to remind us that the struggle for whom he finds “true love,” is okay, but their relationship is so undeveloped it's Song” beginning to end, even in the interminable third part of the trilogy.
Ed is trying to tell Arnold that he loves him when David enters. David reassures Ed that Arnold will change his mind, that he always does. Beckoff, who could not get a plane in the middle of the night, is still in the apartment. She enters the room, having thought about the argument from the previous evening. She also offers some ideas about how to grieve for the loss of a spouse. The play ends with a reconciliation between mother and son.
He is considerably younger than Arnold, and he is accustomed to being wanted for his looks. Alan is a hustler, who has always been able to make money selling sex. Arnold Beckoff Arnold is the central character of the play. He first appears in The International Stud segment. It is Arnold who begins the play with a monologue in which he reveals his loneliness and his desire for a lover who will commit to him totally. Arnold finds Ed and the two begin a loving and passionate relationship, but Ed is tormented by guilt over being gay.
After Ed leaves Arnold for a heterosexual relationship, he finds Alan, a much younger lover. Arnold continues with a plan he and Alan had to adopt a child, and David is placed with Arnold as a foster child. Finally, in Widows and Children First, Arnold confronts his mother and the two open up for the first time, but not before a terrible argument that nearly splits the family. In the end, Arnold is finally able to accept his mother and the possibility that Ed may once again have a place in his life.
Beckoff and Arnold finally confront their differences and find a sense of resolution. She has no real role, but her songs help establish mood and in some ways act as a Greek chorus, enhancing the action and dialogue that occur on stage.
Her songs are not intended to comment upon the action, but are left open to the interpretation of the audience. David David is a fifteen-year-old foster child that Arnold considers his son and who he wants to adopt. David is gay and has been abused by his parents.
He has been in other foster homes and has been placed with Arnold so that he can have the example of an adult with a positive attitude toward homosexuality. David is bright and wise beyond his years. It is also clear that he loves and respects Arnold very much. She is in her mid-thirties and has been involved in many relationships—though none of them have worked to her satisfaction; every man that she has been involved with was either bisexual or married.
She seems to see Ed as a last chance for happiness, although it is also clear that she loves him. It is her idea to bring Arnold and Alan to the farm for a weekend getaway. She does this in an effort to prove to herself that Ed will choose her over Arnold. By the end of Fugue in a Nursery, Ed and Laurel are engaged. Ed reappears at the beginning of Widows and Children First.
He has separated from Laurel and the audience later learns that he has come back to Arnold looking for a reconciliation. Ed loves Arnold but cannot accept his own homosexuality. In a very real sense, Ed betrays himself as well. His betrayal of Laurel is also an issue, since he leaves her emotionally, long before he physically leaves their marriage.
Early in the play, Ed approaches Arnold, and although he wants to continue with Laurel, and in fact live with her, he also wants Arnold in his life. Ed wants the best of both worlds, Laurel and Arnold; he ends up betraying the two people who love him. It is only after a sexual betrayal that Arnold realizes that he and Alan need to have a more committed relationship.
By the end of the play, Arnold is making his first tentative moves toward trusting Ed again. He wants a committed relationship with another person who will love him as much as he loves that person. Arnold is so lonely after Ed abandons him that he seeks out anonymous sex in the back room of a bar. Laurel has also been lonely; she meets Ed on a blind date and bonds with him. Having been abandoned by several previous lovers, Laurel views Ed as a means to end her loneliness. She agrees to a relationship in which Ed can still see other people—namely other men.
Loneliness is an important theme in Torch Song Trilogy because it illustrates how forlorn an existence can be when behavior does not fit certain defined social parameters. Love and Passion That homosexuals can share love, passion, and a depth of feeling is an important theme in this play, since all too often the nature of homosexual love is misunderstood.
Fierstein makes it clear to the audience that love offers the same joy and happiness and pain to gays as it does to heterosexual partners. The screenplay was written by Fierstein and directed by Paul Bogart. The film stars many of the same actors from the stage production.
Torch Song Trilogy (film) - Wikipedia
Fierstein reprises his role as Arnold and Matthew Broderickwho originally played David on stage, plays Alan. Anne Bancroft plays Mrs. Beckoff and Brian Kerwin plays Ed. What is notable about the adaptation is that many characters who are only discussed in the play actually appear in the film.
This play reveals to audience that love is the same whether it is between two men or between a man and a woman. Prejudice and Tolerance The violent death of Alan illustrates the danger of prejudice. He is beaten to death by a crowd of baseball bat-wielding bigots who fear what they cannot understand. Prejudice against gays is also the reason that Ed wants to have a girlfriend and later a wife. He thinks that a woman will provide him with a level of social acceptance and protection against prejudice.
His sexuality is hidden in the closet because of his fear of prejudice. Sex Roles There is a lot of humor in the sex roles assumed in this play, especially in the last few scenes with David.
David has several opportunities to joke about Arnold as his new mother, and he also jokes that with Arnold and Ed together, he would have a mother and father. Research the options for gay partners who wish to have children. Although it is a comedy, there are many tragic elements present in Torch Song Trilogy. Investigate the legal problems that gay marriages face.
What kind of limitations do the law, society, and custom present to gay couples? He wants a family and a home and that same kind of stability, but he states that his dream has only a few minor alterations. He and a partner, whom he will love as much as his mother loved his father, will build the same kind of stable relationship that heterosexual partners enjoy. Violence and Cruelty Fierstein illustrates how dangerous the world can be for homosexuals when he tells the story about the death of his lover, Alan.
Torch Song Trilogy – review
Alan dies offstage, between the second and third act, but his death casts a shadow over the last third of the play, since Arnold has now been left alone.
Although the audience never sees the violence onstage, the effect becomes part of the story, and the telling of the details provides a horrifying moment in the last act of the play. Arnold uses the site of the attack as a daily reminder of this violence when he rents an apartment overlooking the place where Alan was killed.
- Torch Song, the meaning behind the play.
- Torch Song Trilogy
The actions of each character are what constitute the story. Characters can range from simple stereotypical figures to more complex multi-faceted ones. Characters may also be defined by personality traits. To accomplish this the author provides the character with personality traits that help define who he will be and how he will behave in a given situation.
For instance, in the beginning of the play, Arnold tells the audience how important it is for him to find a partner who will love him freely and commit to a relationship.
Coda A coda is a conclusion. It usually restates, summarizes, or integrates the themes of the literary work. Drama A drama is often defined as any work designed to be presented on the stage. It consists of a story, of actors portraying characters, and of action. Historically, drama can also consist of tragedy, comedy, religious pageant, and spectacle.
In modern usage, the word drama is used as an adjective to describe a certain kind of play, typically one that explores serious topics and themes but does not achieve the same level as tragedy. Fugue A fugue is most often defined as a musical composition in which different parts successively repeat the theme. This is the case in Act II, when each set of partners repeat both the action and the dialogue in a type of round—almost like the repetition of a chorus in a song.
Plot Plot refers to the pattern of events that occur within a play. Generally plots have a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion, but they may also be a series of episodes with a loose thematic connection, such as the epic plays of Bertolt Brecht Mother Courage and Her Children. Basically, the plot provides the author with the means to explore primary themes.
Students are often confused between the two terms; but themes explore ideas, and plots simply relate what happens in a very obvious manner. Thus the plot of Torch Song Trilogy is the story of how Arnold finally finds love. Scene Scenes are subdivisions of an act. A scene may change when all of the main characters either enter or exit the stage. But a change of scene may also indicate a change in time or place. In Torch Song Trilogy, the third scene of Act I occurs several months later, and thus, indicates the passage of time in the play.
Setting The time, place, and culture in which the action of the play takes place is called the setting. The elements of setting may include geographic location, physical or mental environments, prevailing cultural attitudes, or the historical period in which the action takes place.
The action occurs over a period of several years. Stretto A stretto is a musical term for when the subject and the answer overlap. Fierstein uses a stretto in Fugue in a Nursery as a division in the act. The prime interest rate is at The biggest victims of these cuts are social welfare programs. The prime interest rate is 7. Despite the relative prosperity, social programs are still in danger of being terminated.
Many conservative politicians want to do away entirely with the funding of arts programs and many forms of social welfare.
AIDS cases are beginning to be reported. Doctors in New York and in San Francisco are seeing an increasing number of new cases of this especially deadly disease which attacks the immune system, rendering the victim unable to fight off even simple infections. Funding for research has made a critical difference in treating a disease that while still incurable is now treatable.
Female infanticide is still a problem in China, where male children are still greatly prized, but a greater effort is now being made to place infant Chinese girls for adoption in Western countries. The biggest benefit from this is that single, and often gay, parents can now adopt a child more easily. It was unknown exactly how the disease was spread. Public fear was probably similar to the panic that spread across Europe in the fourteenth century when the Black Plague claimed every third person as a victim.
Since the public had no real understanding about how the disease was transmitted, they focused on the early victims, who were largely homosexual men. Homosexuals were unfairly blamed for both the cause and spread of the virus and thus became the victims of even greater prejudice. They should be holding knives to each other's throats. I didn't blend with the rest of the company — I was overdoing it.
I'd been doing it so many years. I didn't want to do it any more. Antony Sher, actor I knew the play had been a hit in New York, but thankfully I didn't see that production. As soon as I read it, I fell in love with it. It's a remarkable piece of work: Fierstein takes the most exotic of creatures, a New York drag queen, and turns him into Everyman.
It begins as a very gay play, but then the second act talks about straight relationships, and the third talks about parent-child relationships, so that by the end, the play has wrapped its arms around every single person in the audience. The material was moving and fun, and the cast were a very happy group; I met Miriam Karlin, who was playing my mother, for the first time, and that became one of the great friendships of my life.
Fierstein gives her very persuasive and passionate homophobic arguments, so the audience really go back and forth between each character. Arnold is heartbroken that he is losing his perfect man, due to the fact that he is not a woman. This act portrays the heartbreak when people who are in love cannot be together due to: The scene is set in one big bed with everyone together. The bed symbolizes that they are in it together.
The scene was powerful in the sense that you see how superfluous Laurel and Allen are. They are the extra pieces of the intricate puzzle that did not need to be complicated. Ed and Arnold fit together perfectly but due to the rampant homophobia of the s and s, they were forced to be apart.
The third and final act is in some ways the most powerful.
It shows Arnold grown up living on his own in Manhattan with a son David and mourning his lost love Allan. Arnold is happy and content with the life he has chosen, he followed his heart and lived proudly outside of the claustrophobic closet walls. We see that Ma loves Arnold very much and wants what she thinks is best for him.