Will The Normal Heart Beat on Broadway? Daryl Roth Hopes So

News   Will The Normal Heart Beat on Broadway? Daryl Roth Hopes So
 
Producer Daryl Roth is seeking to bring Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart to Broadway in spring 2011, using elements from a starry reading that was seen in October, according to The New York Times.

Daryl Roth
Daryl Roth

Roth and playwright Kramer said they are hoping Joe Mantello will again play Ned Weeks, the hero of the drama about fear in the early days of the AIDS crisis. A March or April launch is being explored, Roth told the Times.

Roth told Playbill.com, "I am very passionate about this production of The Normal Heart and have every intention of presenting a limited engagement on Broadway this season. It's premature to confirm, as theatre, casting and other important details are not yet in place, but I remain committed and hopeful."

Roth produced the October reading at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Joel Grey directed a cast that included Victor Garber, Jason Butler Harner, John Benjamin Hickey, Jack McBrayer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Patrick Wilson and Tony winner Glenn Close in the role of Dr. Emma Brookner.

The cast and creatives will be invited aboard for the full run, pending availability, it was reported.

If it happens, the production would mark the Broadway debut of writer-activist Kramer, and a Broadway acting return for Mantello, who gave up performing (he was a Tony nominee for playing Louis in Angels in America) in recent years in favor of directing (Assassins, Take Me Out, Wicked, 9 to 5, The Odd Couple). It will also mark the Broadway directing debut of Tony Award-winning actor Grey. *

A 25th anniversary benefit staged reading of Kramer's The Normal Heart, directed by Grey, was presented at the Walter Kerr Theatre Oct. 18 at 7:30 PM. Daryl Roth produced the reading, which supported both the Actors Fund and Friends in Deed.

Director Grey starred in the original 1985 Off-Broadway production of The Normal Heart at The Public Theater, in which he played Ned, based semi-autobiographically on playwright Kramer. (Grey succeeded Brad Davis, who originated the role.) Worth Street Theatre revived the play Off-Broadway in 2004, at the Public. The Normal Heart focuses on "the terrifying early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York and the criminal silence of official America in dealing with it."

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