I saw the original groundbreaking play, "The Normal Heart," when it first opened in 1985. I had lost entire casts of chorus boys to a disease no one knew about. Men were dying in droves and there were times I was at a funeral almost every week. Even though "The Normal Heart" talked about AIDS, it was still foreign. One day our friends were healthy, laughing, vibrant people and within weeks they were sick, dying and we were helpless. All we could do was love and remember their stories.
When Larry Kramer's historic play premiered at The Public we had answers and we listened in stunned silence as the epidemic raged on. Like deer in headlights, we knew this play was beyond excellent but were numb from the senseless deaths.
This time in seeing Larry Kramer’s "The Normal Heart," it struck me as even more tragic and horrific. The time is 1981 and we are in Dr. Emma Brookner’s (Ellen Barkin) office in New York City. A mysterious disease is killing men after making them extremely sick. Ned Weeks (Joe Mantello) is there to find out why. Dr. Brookner states: "I think we're seeing only the tip of the iceberg, I'm frightened nobody important is going to give a damn because it seems to be happening mostly to gay men.”
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