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Torch Song

 Arnold Beckoff

"One of the year's finest casts... Peter Mill is commandingly moving and impassioned as Arnold—particularly in his initial dressing room soliloquy and his eventual declaration of self-respect in heated exchanges with Ma... Mill and (Bobbie) Steinbach's escalating confrontation as Arnold and Ma face off is the kind of fully realized acting that theater students should study. Moonbox's vibrant "Torch Song" has the kind of fearless and loving delivery that makes it a must-hear for all audiences."


- My South End, Jules Becker

"From the opening scene in his dressing room, as he applies his makeup getting ready for his show, Mill morphs into the persona of Arnold while the latter gets into character... Mill is totally comfortable and relaxed, often wry, and frequently funny. Arnold becomes known to us, not just by his words, but by Mill's facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. And that's just the beginning of Act One.

When Arnold and Ma butt heads, the gloves are off and we are in post-doc territory. Mill and (Bobbie) Steinbach are primo players who stand out in this troupe, and they ratchet it up to an exceptional level for the denouement. Think Burton and Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and the level of spite and vitriol they express in their dialogue comes to mind watching these two claw and spit (figuratively) with eyes narrowed and neck veins bulging. Both actors let it all out with such realism that the scene is spellbinding and breathtaking."


- BroadwayWorld, Nancy Grossman

"Moonbox productions continually grows in stature as a presenter of first-rate productions in a consistently excellent repertoire! This time it’s Harvey Fierstein’s classic TORCH SONG with a funny, tender performance by Peter Mill as Arnold Beckoff drag queen, loyal son, kvetch, and all around nice guy just trying to find love and get through life in one piece. The show is written for maximum laughs and heartache. But Mill takes it easy on the jokes, choosing to tone down what could have been a superficial tour de flamboyant force and instead go for something deeper. Mill leans into Arnold’s warmth and humanity, and in the process makes Arnold’s life and lifestyle keenly relatable and universal."


- Joyce’s Choices, Joyce Kulhawik

“Of course, for any version of "Torch Song" to work, it needs a dynamic, over-the-top, but relatable actor at its helm, and at Moonbox it has found it in Peter Mill. From the moment he appears, preparing for his drag performance at a bar called The International Stud, Mill brings the audience into his confidence and, over the next three hours, his chaotic, but gay-affirming, life.”


- Edge Media Network, Robert Nesti

"But the beauty of Moonbox Productions’ staging of Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song” lies in this ensemble’s ability to lean into the fragile humanity of these characters, fully embracing their flaws and vulnerability as much as their sexuality.
Led by an endearing Peter Mill as Arnold, this “Torch Song” is driven less by Fierstein’s snappy one-liners than by one man’s search for love and respect. Arnold is a drag queen, and admittedly vain and self-absorbed. But he’s also painfully self-aware, which he shares in the first-act monologue set in his dressing room. Mill dons his dress, wig, and heels with finesse, but we know these are bits of armor worn to protect him from the rejection of the straight world....Mill provides a steady rhythm, and his careful act of drying dishes in the kitchen with Laurel evokes the poise of Noel Coward and speaks volumes about Arnold’s generosity and open heart....Early in the play, Arnold explains that drag queens are like oil paintings: You have to stand back to get the full effect. In “Torch Song,” under Allison Olivia Choat’s gentle direction, Mill and (Bobbie) Steinbach deliver detailed performances; yet when you step back, they reveal the complexity and humanity of this mother and son."


- The Boston Globe, Terry Byrne

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