The Normal Heart BROADWAY REVIEWS

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  • NY TIMES

  • VARIETY

  • AP

  • NEWSDAY

  • HR

Opening Night:
April 27, 2011
Closing:
July 10, 2011

Theater: John Golden Theatre / 252 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

The Normal Heart focuses on the early years of the AIDS plague in New York and the criminal silence of America’s political and media powers in addressing the issue. First produced by Joseph Papp at New York’s Public Theater, the play was a critical sensation and a seminal moment in theater history. So ahead of its time was this play that many of the core issues it addresses – including gay marriage, the healthcare system and, of course, AIDS – are just as relevant today as they were when it first premiered. Joel Grey directs. This production brings Joe Mantello, as Ned Weeks, back to the Broadway stage for the first time since his Tony-nominated turn in Angels in America (1993). It marks the Broadway debut of Emmy Award-winner Ellen Barkin, as Dr. Emma Brookner. The cast also features John Benjamin Hickey as Felix Turner. A percentage of the production’s weekly profits will be donated to a group of dedicated nonprofit organizations, including The Actors Fund and Friends In Deed, among others. In addition, a special partnership is being created with amfAR.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    BEN BRANTLEY

    April 27, 2011: More than a quarter of a century after it first scorched New York, “The Normal Heart” is breathing fire again. The passionately acted new Broadway production of Larry Kramer’s watershed drama from 1985 — an indictment of a world unwilling to confront the epidemic that would come to be known as AIDS — blasts you like an open, overstoked furnace. Your eyes are pretty much guaranteed to start stinging before the first act is over, and by the play’s end even people who think they have no patience for polemical theater may find their resistance has melted into tears. No, make that sobs.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    The Normal Heart

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 27, 2011: It's true that "The Normal Heart," Larry Kramer's fiery 1985 docu-like drama about the AIDS pandemic, suffers from agit-prop agita, even in this first-rate production starring Joe Mantello and Ellen Barkin and co-helmed with enormous heart by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe. But Kramer's is a fine fury, stoked by righteous anger, and even today the sobering specifics of his impassioned brief are worth recall. Especially if, as the scribe declares in printed fliers that he sometimes distributes himself after the show, AIDS is still unacknowledged as "a worldwide plague" with "no cure" and little coordination in its treatment.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    A still-blistering 'Normal Heart' hits Broadway

    Mark Kennedy

    April 27, 2011: "The Normal Heart" is about AIDS. Until it isn't. Larry Kramer's historic play about the beginning of an epidemic that has killed millions can be seen as a time capsule of a period when the disease was first emerging. But it can also be a cautionary tale for any horror we have yet to fully grasp.

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  • NEWSDAY REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    April 27, 2011: "The Normal Heart" was never meant to be a subtle work. Larry Kramer wrote it in 1985 to be a shock to the system, an alarm siren, a blunt instrument to bludgeon Ed Koch's New York, Ronald Reagan's Washington, the indifferent press and complacent medical industry into acknowledging the mysterious disease destroying gay men.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    April 27, 2011: The Bottom Line: A living memorial staged with stinging clarity and invigorating emotional power.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    April 27, 2011: Larry Kramer’s seminal AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” is the kind of show that hits you like a jackhammer. Twenty-five years since it premiered at the Public Theater, it remains a powerful example of political theater at its most direct, passionate and urgent levels.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    April 27, 2011: "We must love one another or die." The command comes from W.H. Auden's poem "September 1, 1939," which gives Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" its title. Written in the teeth of one apocalyptic whirlwind, the line remains true for another: the plague of AIDS. Remaining just as true is Kramer's searing, savage howl of a play, first produced in 1985, when it was an urgent dispatch from the frontlines of a new war.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF The Normal Heart

    Old 'Heart' rates second viewing

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    April 27, 2011: When Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" premiered off-Broadway in 1985, it had a "right here, right now" impact. Set in 1981-84 New York, it imparted a powerful, radical immediacy to almost-current events -- the early years of AIDS and the burgeoning fight against that new epidemic.

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