Harvey Fierstein

It’s been another banner year for the multi-Tony Award-winning writer and performer Harvey Fierstein, the son of a Conservative Jewish family who went on to create such Broadway shows as “Torch Song Trilogy” and “La Cage Aux Folles.”

Brought up in Brooklyn, the 59-year-old Fierstein has likened his artistic process to talmudic study: “There is something about the way we study the Torah that’s different from the way other cultures study their stuff,” he told the Forward.

After playing Tevye in a Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Fierstein has gone backstage again. This year the musical “Kinky Boots” — with his book and Cyndi Lauper’s music — was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won six including Best Musical and Cyndi Lauper for Best Score.

“Theater is my temple and my religion and my act of faith,” Fierstein told the Forward. “Strangers sit in a room together and believe together. It’s a leap of faith [on their part]… I want people to feel more represented, heard and less alone.”

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Harvey Fierstein

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