“ T H E N O R M A L H E A R T ”
TO PREMIERE ON BROADWAY
DARYL ROTH PRESENTS
12-WEEK ENGAGEMENT BEGINNING APRIL 19
DIRECTED BY JOEL GREY
ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDES
ELLEN BARKIN, JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY, AND JOE MANTELLO
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
AT THE JOHN GOLDEN THEATRE
New York, NY (February 23, 2011) – Producer Daryl Roth announced today that Larry Kramer’s ground-breaking play, The Normal Heart will finally have its Broadway premiere in a limited, 12-week engagement this spring. Joel Gray will direct the production, which begins performances on Tuesday, April 19 at the John Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street), with an official opening night set for Wednesday, April 27. Paul Boskind has joined Ms. Roth as a producer. This production comes on the heels of the recent sold-out, acclaimed 25th Anniversary performance of The Normal Heart at The Walter Kerr Theatre, also directed by Mr. Grey. That evening proved to be one of the most memorable of the current theater season, and the overwhelming reaction by those in attendance encouraged this longer Broadway run.
“The Normal Heart has the timeless power to challenge, inform, and create a place for dialogue and understanding in the way that only theater can,” said Ms. Roth. “It is emotionally charged, moving, passionate and powerful drama at its best. It is time for Larry Kramer’s unforgettable words to be heard on Broadway so that they may challenge us anew.”
“Directing the 25th Anniversary benefit performance was so satisfying,” Mr. Grey added. “This longer Broadway run is a dream come true.” Having been a part of the original production of The Normal Heart at The Public Theater, in which he played the role of Ned Weeks, Mr. Grey has special insight into the play and a passionate commitment to the piece.
This production brings Joe Mantello, as Ned Weeks, back to the Broadway stage for the first time since his Tony-nominated turn in Angels in America (1993). It will mark the Broadway debut of Emmy Award-winner Ellen Barkin, as Dr. Emma Brookner. The cast also features John Benjamin Hickey as Felix Turner. Additional casting, along with the complete creative team, will be announced shortly.
The Normal Heart focuses on the early years of the AIDS plague in New York and the criminal silence of America’s political and media powers in addressing the issue. First produced by Joseph Papp at New York’s Public Theater, the play was a critical sensation and a seminal moment in theater history. So ahead of its time was this play that many of the core issues it addresses – including gay marriage, the healthcare system and, of course, AIDS – are just as relevant today as they were when it first premiered.
Tickets, priced from $26.50 to $116.50, are available via Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or in person at the John Golden Theatre box office (252 West 45th Street). The weekly performance schedule will be Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., Thursday at 8:00 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Please note the first performance, on Tuesday, April 19, will be at 8:00 p.m. There will be a special 8:00 p.m. performance on Monday, April 25. There will be no performance on Thursday, April 28.
Distinguished members of the community will lead a series of talkbacks, immediately following Tuesday performances, that underscore the themes and historical context of the play. The upcoming schedule of guests will be announced shortly.
The entire company of The Normal Heart is deeply committed to the message of this play, and so a percentage of the production’s weekly profits will be donated to a group of dedicated nonprofit organizations, including The Actors Fund and Friends In Deed, among others. In addition, a special partnership is being created with amfAR, about which its CEO Kevin Frost said,
“We are very honored to be associated with this production of The Normal Heart, and look forward to its successful run on Broadway.”