Breathtaking revival is full of ‘Heart’

“The Normal Heart” ends its limited engagement on July 10.

A flash virus is terrorizing New York City. Each month, the number of deaths increases exponentially. No one knows what it is, where it came from or what to do about it. And more importantly, no one  seems to care.

That’s because in the early 1980s, AIDS only seemed to affect the overlooked, ostracized gay community; but throughout “The Normal Heart,” this acronym is ominously absent as research has not yet progressed so far as to identify the syndrome. It’s a nameless, faceless terror attacking those with no power to fight it — a group that, similar to the disease at large, is still struggling in search of recognition and identity.

Though the premise of this play sounds monstrous and depressing, it is a relatable, moving, vital piece of art calling attention to a cause that’s still highly relevant today. The social and political issues remain unresolved even 30 years later.

This revival (contending for five Tony Awards) is co-directed by Broadway heavyweights Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe. The cast features many players from the small screen, including Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Lee Pace (“Pushing Daises”) and John Benjamin Hickey (“The Big C”). Coming off a strong directing spree, Joe Mantello returns to acting as the angry, confused, railing Ned Weeks — an activist who learns to love just when it seems the four-letter word is destroying his friends, his community and his faith.

Though laughter intermittently accompanies wrenching sobs, the simply staged and beautifully written play strikes an even more invaluable balance: “The Normal Heart” supplies a powerful call to action that gives modern meaning to all of its historical heartbreak.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

National

Obama: Ukraine diplomacy holds hope but sanctions ready

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday talks between Russia and Western powers aimed at ending tensions in Ukraine have potential but that…

Local

After 100 days, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito only getting…

Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito will have spent 100 days as the City Council's latest steward as of April 18 and sees plenty of work left to do.

National

U.S. judge declines to order 'park it now'…

By Jessica Dye(Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid to compel General Motors Co to tell customers to stop driving millions of…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Movies

Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.

Movies

Interview: 'Fading Gigolo' director John Turturro talks about…

John Turturro discusses his new film "Fading Gigolo," how to get Woody Allen to wear more than khakis and the far-off "Barton Fink" sequel.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

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

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.