Theater for Change

Is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart Still Relevant to the Younger Generation?

Daryl Roth, queen of New York theater, just announced that Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart is offering a “one-night-only” discount for twinks, er, people born after 1980–just about the year AIDS hit America–to see a special performance on May 26. The $30 ticket includes a talkback featuring the cast, reporter Frank DiLella, Playbill Magazine editor-in-chief Blake Ross, and Roth herself in a discussion about the show’s impact in 2011.

The story of a city in denial over a burgeoning pandemic, The Normal Heart premiered at the Public Theater in 1985 and opened to stellar reviews on April 19, 2011. The  new production, directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, features performances by Ellen Barkin, Patrick Breen, Mark Harelik, John Benjamin Hickey, Luke Macfarlane, Joe Mantello, Lee Pace, Jim Parsons, Richard Topol, and Wayne Alan Wilcox. It’s considered a Tony favorite, with multiple nominations.

“Seeing this play in 1985 and acting in it was a life changing experience,” Grey has said. “I’m grateful that Larry Kramer has entrusted me with his masterpiece.”

A percentage of the proceeds from The Normal Heart production supports the Actors Fund, amfAR, Freedom to Marry, Friends in Deed, Human Rights Campaign, and The Trevor Project. We can only imagine how much the current twelve-week run of The Normal Heart will raise for these organizations.

Photo credit Joan Marcus