The Fisher Center and Oblong Books welcome Tony Award–winning performer and author Harvey Fierstein for an evening in celebration of his new memoir I Was Better Last Night (due out on March 1from Knopf). On March 11, Fierstein will be joined on stage by another icon, Justin Vivian Bond, in a lively conversation about his memoir, followed by a Q&A with the audience. A poignant and hilarious memoir from the cultural icon, gay rights activist, and four-time Tony Award–winning actor and playwright, I Was Better Last Night reveals never-before-told stories of his personal struggles and conflict, of sex and romance, and of his fabled career.
Harvey Fierstein’s legendary career has transported him from community theater in Brooklyn, to the lights of Broadway, to the absurd excesses of Hollywood and back. He’s received accolades and awards for acting in and/or writing an incredible string of hit plays, films, and TV shows: Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Cheers, La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy, Newsies, and Kinky Boots. While he has never shied away from the spotlight, Mr. Fierstein says that even those closest to him have never heard most of the tales revealed in these wildly entertaining pages.I Was Better Last Night bares the inner life of this eccentric nonconforming child from his roots in 1952 Brooklyn, to the experimental worlds of Andy Warhol and the Theatre of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movements of the seventies and the tumultuous AIDS crisis of the eighties, through decades of addiction, despair, and ultimate triumph. Mr. Fierstein’s candid recollections provide a rich window into downtown New York City life, gay culture, and the evolution of theater (of which he has been a defining figure), as well as a moving account of his family’s journey of acceptance. I Was Better Last Night is filled with wisdom gained, mistakes made, and stories that come together to describe an astonishingly colorful and meaningful life.
This event will be held onFriday, March 11 at 8 pm in Olin Hall at Bard College. Tickets are $38 and include a signed copy of I Was Better Last Night. To purchase or reserve tickets, visit fishercenter.bard.edu, call 845-758-7900 (Mon–Fri 10 am–5 pm), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvey Fierstein is the Tony Award-winning author of Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage aux Folles. His other theater writings include Kinky Boots, Newsies, Casa Valentina (all Tony-nominated), A Catered Affair (twelve Drama Desk nominations), and Bella Bella, and his theater performances include Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray (Tony Awards for both), Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles, Gently Down the Stream, and A Catered Affair. His film and television appearances include Mrs. Doubtfire, The Good Wife, and Cheers (Emmy nominated), and he has voiced characters in the film Mulan and the shows Big Mouth, The Dark Crystal, BoJack Horseman, and many more. He lives in a small fictional town in Connecticut with whatever animals will have him.
Justin Vivian Bond has appeared on stage (Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Londonʼs West End), screen (Shortbus, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and Sunset Stories), television (High Maintenance, Difficult People, and The Get Down), nightclub stages (most notably, a decades-long residency at Joeʼs Pub at The Public Theater), and in concert halls worldwide (including Carnegie Hall and The Sydney Opera House). In December 2019, Mx. Bond made their Vienna Staatsoper debut as Orlandoʼs child in the world premiere of Olga Neuwirthʼs Orlando. Mx. Bond’s visual art and installations have been seen in museums and galleries in the United States (Participant, Inc., and The New Museum) and abroad (Vitrine, London). Their memoir, Tango: My Childhood Backwards and in High Heels (Feminist Press), won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction.