Friday, May 20, 2011

Revival of "The Normal Heart" - The Play that Left Me Unsettled

First, there was the sound of one sniffle, then another, then another. The second act of The Normal Heart, a powerful drama by Larry Kramer about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, seemed to be hitting a tender spot in the hearts of those sitting around me in the mid orchestra section of the Golden Theatre. 

The anger felt after a doctor’s frustrated plea for funding was replaced by sadness when a lover dies. By the time the names of the dead were projected on the walls of the theater and across the actors, the audience could not be anything other than numb. 

On my commute home after The Normal Heart, I felt unsettled at the memory of lesions and our country’s fears during the early 1980s when AIDS became publicized. How many in the audience, I wondered, lost a loved one or loved ones to AIDS?  And when will there be a cure for this disease?  

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