Get ready for a firestorm: Harvey Fierstein is about to give us his take on larger-than-life feminist and politician Bella Abzug. The four-time Tony winner will write and star in the solo Off-Broadway play "Bella Bella" for the Manhattan Theatre Club, which on Thursday announced three premieres for its 2019-2020 season.
Fierstein has often explored works that involve characters in drag, from his masterful "Torch Song Trilogy," for which he won his first two Tonys (best play and best actor), to his Tony-winning turn as dumpy housewife Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray."
The new play is set in 1976 as Abzug awaits election results for her bid to become New York's first female senator. Rather than mingling with her family and celebrity supporters, the play finds the hat-loving icon, who died in 1998, hiding out in the bathroom of a midtown hotel. (Fans of "Be More Chill" might wonder if there'll be a song, "Bella in the Bathroom"?). The play, to be directed by Kimberly Senior, is set to start previews Oct. 1, with an opening Oct. 22 at New York City Center Stage 1.
The other premieres announced are Richard Greenberg's "The Perplexed," starting previews Feb. 11, 2020, and "The Best We Could (A Family Tragedy)" by Emily Feldman, beginning previews May 5, 2020. Go to manhattantheatreclub.com for more information.