The recent, very-limited run Larry Kramer’s THE NORMAL HEART by the Necessary Theatre was called “important,” some critics hailing the quality of its acting, its direction, and design. It drew raves from a very wide spectrum of audiences, theater-goers and non theater-goers alike.
But for all the praise garnered for different aspects of the production, the two most common sentiments were: 1. How the play has awakened the viewer to the HIV crisis in our own country and 2. A real clamor for a repeat of the show.
In 1981 in New York, a mysterious disease was ravaging a very specific, very “specialized” demographic: gay men. It aggravated deep-seated feelings of hatred and festering bigotries against, and even within the ranks of its victims. The confusion, chaos, panic and paranoia could have been a scenario from a b-grade disaster movie except that the crisis was very real and very frightening. No cause for the fatal illness was yet known, no strategies for prevention, no cure remotely in sight.
The story could have been a modern adaptation of Ibsen or Odets because it bears all the hallmarks of classic agitative theatre. It is also, apart from that, a poignant love story and a medical thriller. But this Larry Kramer material is anything but fiction. It is an autobiographical account of its author’s lonely struggle to provoke his government into action and to save as many lives as possible even if it meant losing friends, alienating family and making enemies along the way. It was staged to wide acclaim in 1985 and hailed an instant classic. Its revival in 2011 was showered with prizes and once more, wide acclaim. It hit the mainstream with a highly celebrated award-winning HBO adaptation starring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It has also been listed as one of the 100 most important plays of the 20th Century by London’s National Theatre.
THE NORMAL HEART, is made possible by Taal Vista Hotel and ClickTheCity, and stars Bart Guingona (who also directs), Roselyn Perez, Topper Fabregas, TJ Trinidad, Richard Cunanan, Jef Flores, Nor Domingo and Red Concepcion.
THE NORMAL HEART will have it’s Manila re-run starting October 2 at 8pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza Makati, and will have a two-weekend run until October 11, 2015.
For show details and ticket inquiries, please log on to Ticketworld.com.ph or call (63 2) 891-9999.
Source: MR. TOOTS TOLENTINO