Review: Within ‘The Normal Heart’ beats a rather extraordinary one

WEKB_NormalHeart_1108

If the Zeitgeist Stage Company’s stunning production of “The Normal Heart” doesn’t put a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes, you’d better check for a pulse. And, if you’re old enough to remember the onset of the AIDS epidemic, be prepared for staggering moments of recall.

Director David Miller’s take on playwright/activist Larry Kramer’s tale of a small group of gay men responding to a plague is breathtaking. The entire talented ensemble beautifully captures the fear, outrage and hysteria of the time, yet also finds compassion and humanity at the center of the maelstrom.

What may, at first glance, look like histrionics is actually the reality of the early ’80s in New York City, when AIDS meant certain death, had no known cause and no name. Though frustration and desperation is still palpable, time and progress make it easier to see that, at its core, “The Normal Heart” is also a love story.

Victor Shopov is both exhausting and relentless in his moving portrayal of Ned Weeks, the writer hell bent on warning everyone about the unidentified plague. Just beneath his outrage, however, hides a lonely, frightened man who finds love at the worst possible moment.

Joey Pelletier’s beautiful, vulnerable turn as Ned’s love interest Felix will likely move you to tears. Maureen Adduci turns in one of the finest performances of her impressive career as Dr. Emma Brookner, an angry physician with an ever-increasing case load of dying young men. Mikey Deloreto is equally impressive in a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking turn as Mickey Marcus.

The set boasts statistics about the disease, projected names of its victims and a place to remember anyone you’d like. They also hand out red ribbons at the end of each performance. Good luck choking out a truly heartfelt thank you.

If you go

Through November 23
BCA Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont St., Boston
$25 , 617-933-8600
zeitgeiststage.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.