Monday, May 23, 2011

The Normal Heart, Redux

This past weekend, I went to see The Normal Heart after seeing it last month in previews. From the looks of it, they didn't make any big changes now that the show is out of previews, but I did notice that some scenes felt a bit more visceral. Now whether or not that is because the actors are performing it differently or me just having a better understanding of the whole play, I really don't know, but what I do know is that the play didn't lose any of the heart and passion that bowled me over the first time I saw it. One of the great things though was to see Larry Kramer himself outside the theater after the play ended.

The Normal Heart has been getting rave reviews upon rave reviews since it came out. Ben Brantley over at the New York Times notes that "by the play's end even people who think they have no patience for polemical theater may find their resistance has melted into tears." Hollywood Reporter writer David Rooney remarks how "its trenchancy and impassioned urgency reach out and grab you by the throat with the force of an explosive new work." Marilyn Stasio of Variety says the play works "because it has the power to move and disturb us." And finally, Robert Berg calls the new revival "the most important production Broadway has seen in years." (Click here for a few more reviews)

The play was recently nominated for 5 Tony Awards--Best Revival of a Play, Best Direction of a Play, and acting nominations for Joe Mantello, John Benjamin Hickey, and Ellen Barkin. It also picked up 3 Drama League Awards nominations and 2 Outer Critics Circle nominations, winning Best Play Revival for both. The ensemble was also given a special award during the Drama Desk Awards. Check out the video below to see its opening night:

If you're in New York City, definitely check out this great play which has a limited run through July 10. Buy tickets now.

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