The Haunted Host (1991)


"In his sweaty over-the-top performance, Mr. Fierstein tramps across the furniture, mugs, camps, goes in and out of a Southern accent, imitates Bette Davis and twice gets himself up in amusingly outlandish drag. It is all for the benefit of Frank (Jason Workman), a 19-year-old aspiring writer from Iowa a friend has sent over for professional advice and whose uncanny resemblance to the late Ed sends his host into a tizzy.
With its three scenes, set within a 24-hour period, the one-act drama depicts a marathon power struggle between the host and his guest that is complicated by Ed's unseen ghost, who still haunts the apartment and engages Jay in noisy one-sided conversations. It is a battle in which the smitten Jay defends himself with challenges, insults and epigrams against a guest who alternately flirts, condescends and begs for advice...
As staged by Eric Concklin, the La Mama revival shrewdly spins the production around Mr. Fierstein's oversize stage personality. The set is a garish clutter of mirrors, photos, colored lights and music boxes. The look of the play, which is set in 1964, has some glaring anachronisms. If the sound track is appropriately early Barbra Streisand, the production design, with its tie-dyed bed sheets and peace symbols is more late Woodstock.
In the role of Frank, Mr. Workman, a soap opera actor who also played the boy next door in the Broadway production of "Meet Me in St. Louis," gives a bold, flashy performance. Playing down the character's ingenuousness, he makes Frank a shameless narcissist and teasing flirt. In high-pitched conversation that seesaws wildly between friendliness and reproach, Mr. Workman holds his own, even though Mr. Fierstein is given most of the best lines."

"Review/Theater; Harvey Fierstein as a Loud Mourner," Stephen Holden, The New York Times: