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‘The Normal Heart’, a play on the early rise of HIV-AIDS crisis opens July 3

/ 05:35 AM June 18, 2015
The cast members of “The Normal Heart”. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

The cast members of “The Normal Heart”. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

AAI/The Necessary Theatre proudly announces the Asian premiere of “The Normal Heart”—the 2011 Tony Award Winner for Best Revival of a Play about the early rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s.

During this period, a deadly epidemic was decimating North America’s gay population, killing people in the thousands, devastating an entire generation and changing the way we think about sex forever.

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Written by playwright and activist Larry Kramer, “The Normal Heart” is a largely autobiographical play that puts a human face to an issue often mired in numbers, facts and statistics as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the openly gay founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. He watches in horror as friends and lovers fall prey to a mysterious virus targeting his community.

For its Manila run, “The Normal Heart” is set to open on July 3 (Fri) 8pm with succeeding limited performances on July 4 (Sat) 3pm & 8pm; July 5 (Sun) 3pm & 8pm at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

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Topnotch theater actor Bart Guingona (who also directs the play) shall essay the role of the very intense activist Ned Weeks who is both difficult and charming.

Richard Cunanan shall essay the role of Ben Weeks, Ned’s brother, a lawyer, conservative, successful, tolerant of gays, loves his brother.

Topper Fabregas plays the role of Felix, a closeted, attractive, NY Times reporter.

TV personality TJ Trinidad will play the role of Bruce, a very handsome, charismatic, closeted all-American banker, elected to lead the organization.

Roselyn Perez is Emma, the fiercely independent doctor and researcher. Opinionated. A fighter.

TJ Trinidad plays the role of Bruce, a very handsome, charismatic, closeted all-American banker. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

TJ Trinidad plays the role of Bruce, a very handsome, charismatic, closeted all-American banker. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

Red Concepcion plays the role of Tommy, the funny, outrageous Southern boy who is all the way out of the closet.

Nor Domingo will play the role of Mickey, the Jewish victim with a sense of humor.

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Jef Flores will take on multiple roles such as Craig, Grady and the Hiram Keebler City Hall representative.

“The Normal Heart” is a call to arms, chronicling Ned’s personal crusade for justice amidst resistance, intolerance and ignorance on the part of government, family and friends.

A fierce indictment of a world unwilling to confront the AIDS epidemic, ” The Normal Heart” polarized the gay community when it was first performed at New Yorkís Public Theatre in 1985 where it earned a Dramatists Guild Marton Award, the City Lights Award, the Sarah Siddons Award for the best play of the year, and a nomination for an Olivier Award.

In 2000, the Royal National Theatre named The Normal Heart one of the 100 greatest plays of the 20th century.

After a successful 1985 Off-Broadway production, the play was revived in Los Angeles and London and again Off-Broadway in 2004.

In 2011 The Normal Heart received its Broadway debut, earning rave reviews and a number of prestigious awards: Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress (Ellen Barkin) and Best Featured Actor (John Benjamin Hickey); Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play and Outstanding Ensemble; the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Revival of a Play; and a New York Drama Critics Circle Special Citation.

The film adaptation of “The Normal Heart” debuted on the HBO premium pay cable channel last May 25, 2014.

Amidst controversy, however, “The Normal Heart” has endured, and today this document of recent history is as relevant and powerful as it ever was ñ a reminder that battles for justice, equality and dignity are not just things of the past.

Made possible by Taal Vista Hotel, the artistic team of “The Normal Heart” is led by Bart Guingona directing, Baby Imperial and Coco Anne doing set design, Mark Philipp Espina doing projections, Don Taduran graphic design.

The production team is composed of Dodo Lim, producer; Mariko Yasuda, production manager; Ronah Rostata, stage manager.

“The Normal Heart” is produced by The Necessary Theatre and Taal Vista Hotel with special arrangement from Samuel French Inc., New York, N.Y.

Ticket prices for “The Normal Heart” are: Php1,500 orchestra center / Php1,000 orchestra side & loge / Php500 balcony.

For ticket inquiries, please call Call 2150788 or 09175378313. Or call TicketWorld at 8919999.

Visit The Necessary Theatre on Facebook and follow @AAITNT on Twitter to check out other details of “The Normal Heart”.

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TAGS: Actors Actor International, HIV-AIDS crisis, New York City, The Necessary Theatre, The Normal Heart, Theater
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