Tag Archives: the normal heart

On Broadway: Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart

25 May

Sometimes you see a show on Broadway and think: This is why I live in NYC. This is why I go to the theater. And this is why art is great. That’s how I feel about The Normal Heart.

Set in 1980s NYC as the AIDS crisis is beginning to unfold, this revival is intense and upsetting. It is political, emotional, sexual. Ellen Barkin and Joe Mantello give particularly fierce performances, but the entire cast is great. What’s most impressive is how the play still feels relevant, even though the face of AIDS has changed. Unlike How to Succeed in Business..., which seemed antiquated in parts, Normal taps into feelings of frustration, lack of cooperation and resentment that can also be applied to other modern-day unsung causes. It is both rewarding and maddening to watch the characters spin their wheels without hope—fighting the mayor, the president and each other—as the epidemic spins out of control.

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