The Normal Heart (review)

The Normal Heart (review)
The Normal Heart (review)
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THE PLAY: Real-life writer/activist Larry Kramer chronicles the seminal stages of HIV/AIDS in 80s NYC and the attempts to understand and combat the disease.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This play is important because of the historical perspective it offers, but it’s also a tirade of frustration (with every monologue going on too long). To make this outrage and tragedy effective, director George Boyd has guided his cast with a brisk pace and sensitive emotional moments. In the pivotal role, Jim Morgan effectively handles Kramer’s confrontational rants. Every actor is successful with special mentions for Dawn A. Westbrook’s assured empathy and Dan Cimo, who adds much needed humor and even tenderness. Frank Foster’s set suggests an institutional space lined with tiles and centered around 3 projection screens (and that annoying projector light). It works for the hospital scenes, but doesn’t lend itself to the other locations. And several of the flats are slanted (and not on purpose). The sound design by Lucian Restivo is unnecessary and distracting. Running time: 2:38

 

THE POINT: This strong production brings life and weight to this didactic play that depicts a crucial time in gay history.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

At Richmond Triangle Players thru 5/12

 

Stevie Rice and Dawn A. Westbrook (Photos by John MacLellan)

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