Sunday, June 06, 2010

Blast From The Past: Harvey Fierstein in 1983

While searching YouTube for a clip to include with Harvey Fierstein's birthday I came across this startling bit of footage: the man himself as interviewed by Vito Russo in 1983 for the landmark WNYC television show Our Time. Russo, of course, was also the author of the book The Celluloid Closet*, the definitive work on the passive-aggressive homophobia which has always plagued Hollywood.

In the clip Fierstein discusses the success of his play Torch Song Trilogy, the typically surreal reception afforded him by David Letterman, and his role in the creation of the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles (alongside Jerry Herman).

*Last revised in 1987, shortly before Russo's death from AIDS in 1990, the book became a documentary, narrated by Lily Tomlin, in 1996.

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