As previously reported, Larry Kramer, the playwright and fiery AIDS activist, has died at 84 of complications from pneumonia, his husband David Webster confirmed to The New York Times. The artist had lived with and fought HIV for much of his adult life. In honor of Kramer, Playbill is revisiting his seminal work The Normal Heart, which woke many to the threat of AIDS in its early days.
Strongly autobiographical, The Normal Heart chronicles one man's slow response to the AIDS epidemic as he struggles to create support for himself — and his illness.
The play first premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 1985, where it ran for over 200 performances. A 2004 revival, again at the Public, starred Raúl Esparza.
The Normal Heart made its Broadway debut seven years later, when it opened at the John Golden Theatre April 27, 2011. Directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart played 10 previews and 86 performances before closing July 10, 2011. The production earned five Tony Award nominations, winning three, including Best Revival of a Play.
The Normal Heart starred Ellen Barkin as Dr. Emma Brookner, Patrick Breen as Mickey Marcus, Mark Harelik as Ben Weeks, John Benjamin Hickey as Felix Turner, Joe Mantello as Ned Weeks, Luke Macfarlane as Craig Donner/Grady, Jim Parson as Tommy Boatwright, Lee Pace as Bruce Niles, Richard Topol as Hiram Keebler/Examining Doctor, and Wayne Alan Wilcox as David/Felix Turner alternate.
The revival featured scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design and original music by David Van Tieghem, production design by Batwin + Robin productions with stage management by Karen Armstrong and Matthew Farrell. For the complete cast and creative team, visit PlaybillVault.com/TheNormalHeart.