A quarter century after it electrified Off-Broadway, Larry Kramer’s 1985 drama “The Normal Heart” is seeing its debut staging on Broadway. Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe co-direct the play, which opened April 27 at John Golden Theatre.
Kramer’s semi-autobiographical story is set in the early ’80s, as the AIDS epidemic was reaching its fever pitch. Though it follows an ensemble cast, “Heart’s” central characters are Dr. Emma Brookner (Ellen Barkin) and activist Ned Weeks (Joe Mantello) — both of whom fight to spread awareness of the deadly disease.
The cast also includes Patrick Breen, Lee Pace and Jim Parsons portray members of the gay community who join Ned’s AIDS organization to work as activists. John Benjamin Hickey plays Ned’s closeted lover, Felix Turner, while Mark Harelik appears as his straight older brother, Ben.
“The Normal Heart” is a limited engagement; tickets are on sale through July 10 only. Regular ticket prices on Telecharge.com range from $26.50 up to $116.50, though premium options are set from $151.50 up to $199.50.
Previews started just over a week ago on April 19. The 804-seat playhouse was at 87 percent capacity for the eight previews staged through April 24, with an average paid admission of $23.27. Thus far, the show has grossed $130,853 of a potential $659,040, according to the Broadway League.
The current production schedule (through May 1) includes evening performances at 8 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Sunday. Matinees are 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Several other schedules will be used throughout the remainder of the show’s term on Broadway.
John Golden Theatre is located at 252 West 45th Street in New York, NY. “The Normal Heart” runs two hours and 20 minutes, including an intermission. Ticketing and scheduling details for “The Normal Heart” can be found on the production’s official Web site.
Opening Night: “The Normal Heart”
|Variety||Marilyn Stasio||“The play still works because it has the power to move and disturb us.”|
|New York Times||Ben Brantley||“Ned is portrayed by Mr. Mantello with the centering urgency and stridency that the role demands.”|
|TheaterMania||Brian Scott Lipton||“Directed with enormous sensitivity and clarity…and performed by a remarkable ensemble.”|
|Hollywood Reporter||David Rooney||“This is a spectacularly well-cast production in which every role has found its ideal interpreter.”|
|The Wall Street Journal||Terry Teachout||“[Mantello] is giving one of the best performances of the season, on or Off Broadway.”|
|New York Daily News||Joe Dziemianowicz||“It is a breathtaking achievement. Period.”|