The Normal Heart to Close After June 29 Performance

News   The Normal Heart to Close After June 29 Performance The Worth Street Theatre Company's Off-Broadway production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart will end its critically acclaimed run after the June 29 performance due to lack of strong ongoing ticket sales.
Richard Bekins (left) and Raul Esparza in The Normal Heart
Richard Bekins (left) and Raul Esparza in The Normal Heart

A spokesperson for the production confirmed that the play is ending its run after the 8 PM performance after 13 previews and 63 performances. For refunds, the ticket buyer should contact the point of purchase. The Worth Street staging was a guest production at The Public Theater.

The Normal Heart earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play and four Drama League noninations, including Distinguished Revival of a Play.

The Kramer drama recently took a two-week hiatus, beginning June 1. Performances resumed June 15, and the production was expected to run through August.

Directed by David Esbjornson, Normal Heart opened April 21, the same day the original production opened at The Public Theater nearly 20 years ago. The cast currently includes Raul Esparza, Lisa Kron (who took over for Joanna Gleason), Richard Bekins, Fred Berman, McCaleb Burnett, Mark Dobies, Jay Russell, Billy Warlock and Paul Whitthorne.

The Normal Heart was one of the first plays about the emergence of AIDS, and the anger, frustration and fear surrounding it. The action of the play takes place between July 1981 and May 1984, making it a period piece. The disease is now an international epidemic. The work ran a year at The Public after its debut. The lack of response by politicians in Washington and New York City (notably former NYC Mayor Ed Koch) the medical profession and the media—particularly The New York Times—is addressed in the angry, visceral drama about Ned Weeks. Weeks is based on Kramer himself (who founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis) 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 set design is by Eugene Lee, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Ken Billington and the sound design is by Tony Meola.