Broadway Winter 2013/Spring 2014 Guide
by Whitney Spaner, 12/09/2013
Photo: Matthew Murphy
Four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein is Broadway's resident gender bender. The writer and performer made his Broadway debut as a Jewish drag queen with a penchant for torch songs in his play Torch Song Trilogy. In the past decade, he originated the role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray and starred in the hit 2010 revival of La Cage aux Folles, for which he wrote the book. More recently he took on that responsibility for Cyndi Lauper's Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, about a British drag queen enlisted to design fetish footwear for a small-town shoe factory. With all that under his belt, the true story of the 1960s-era Catskills resort for cross-dressers—where heterosexual men went to trade in their suits and loafers for tasteful tea-length dresses and fierce heels—was right up his alley. Photos from the Chevalier d'Eon getaway, named for a famous cross-dressing spy, or as it became known, Casa Susanna, were published in the book Casa Susanna in 2005, but Fierstein's production, his first play since the 1987 AIDS piece Safe Sex, features fictional characters and centers around the inhabitants' decision of whether or not to become an official organization. Directing the world premiere is The Normal Heart's Joe Mantello.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. Previews start April 1; opens April 23.