Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart Gets Off-Bway Revival by Worth Street, Under The Public's Roof

News   Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart Gets Off-Bway Revival by Worth Street, Under The Public's Roof Worth Street Theatre Company, the Drama Desk Award-winning Off-Broadway company that gave New York Christopher Shinn's Four and the unique post-9/11 Stage Door Canteen, will stage a revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

For the revival, the company will take up residence at The Public Theater, which first produced the play 20 years ago, in early 2004 (probably February), said Worth Street producer Carol Fineman. Jeff Cohen, Worth Street artistic director, will direct the drama, one of the first plays about the emergence of AIDS — and the anger, frustration and fear surrounding it.

Casting and design team information is not yet announced, and it's not yet known which venue inside The Public will house the play. Public subscribers will likely be offered the show as a special add-on, but the staging is technically independent of The Public season.

The play ran a year at The Public after its debut in 1985.

The lack of response by politicians and the media is addressed in the angry, visceral drama about Ned Weeks and his circle of friends. Writer and AIDS activist Kramer told Variety that if people screamed as much about AIDS in its early years as they are about the flu-like SARS today, "It is a plague that never need have happened."

The action of the play takes place between July 1981 and May 1984, making it a period piece before "Will and Grace," before domestic partner benefits and before powerful drugs were developed to suppress HIV and prolong the lives of those infected. The disease is now an international epidemic. In the original production, Brad Davis created the role of crusader Ned Weeks, and Joel Grey later took over the part.

*

The Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan staged a well-reviewed revival of the play in 1998.