By Sheila Wickouski
Arena Stage’s production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, opening June 8, is another example of Arena’s excellence at taking unflinching looks at the violence to the human spirit that human beings are capable of inflicting on one another. Personal, political and medical worlds collide as the New York gay community encounter the ravages of a mysterious disease, now known as AIDS.
Arena Stage recently received Helen Hayes awards for 2012 for Outstanding Resident Play: Ruined and for Outstanding Non-Resident Production: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Both plays — one set in a war-torn African country and the other in war-torn marriage in a New England college — are this type of searing drama.
The Normal Heart, a largely autobiographical work, first produced in the 1980s, has received critical acclaim as well as Tony/Desk Drama/Outer Circle Critics Awards for its 2011 Broadway revival.
Knowing Arena’s record, this is a sure bet for a powerful night of theater.
Want To Go?
- WHAT: The Normal Heart
- WHERE: Kreeger Theatre at Arena Stage
- WHEN: June 8 to July 29
Southwest Night for The Normal Heart is Tuesday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m
- July 23: Special benefit performance in conjunction with the International AIDS conference. Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed in lobby
- June 20 & July 11: Arena Stage Piano Bar will feature showtunes in the lobby.
- Local clinics will offer free HIV testing on select weekends of the performance.
- Engage@Arena Stage panel discussions will occur after some matinee performances.