The Normal Heart Will Launch National Tour at Arena Stage

News   The Normal Heart Will Launch National Tour at Arena Stage
Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith announced Nov. 16 that the 2011 Tony Award-winning production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, presented by special arrangement with Daryl Roth, and directed by George C. Wolfe, will launch its national tour as part of Arena's 2011-12 season.

Larry Kramer
Larry Kramer Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Normal Heart replaces the previously announced production of Like Water for Chocolate in order to "provide additional development time for the world-premiere musical," according to a press statement.

The Normal Heart assumes the original run dates of Like Water for Chocolate, June 8-July 29, 2012, and will coincide with AIDS 2012, the biennial international AIDS conference that returns to the United States for the first time in 22 years. Casting and additional tour dates will be announced at a later time.

Smith also announced that the world premiere of Tazewell Thompson's play Mary T. & Lizzy K. will be postponed due to a decline in financial support from the federal government.

Earlier this year, Congress cut funding to the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs Program by 74 percent, and recently Arena Stage was alerted that funding levels could be cut even further this fiscal year. These cuts amount to approximately $1 million over the course of two fiscal years, and have left Arena Stage with reduced resources.

"The creative process for a new musical and the economic climate can sometimes be nearly impossible to predict," Smith said in a statement. "Due to changes in the creative team, unavoidable scheduling conflicts arose for Like Water for Chocolate causing its postponement. I am also deeply saddened that the cuts we have encountered from federal government have resulted in the delay of bringing Tazewell's strong new play to our audiences...As we're constantly looking for the best productions in the American theater for our audience, I am pleased that the timing worked out for Arena to launch the national tour of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart following its sold-out Broadway run. The Normal Heart presents a remarkably vivid, humorous and ultimately devastating depiction of the lives of the brave men on the front line of the epidemic, and will serve as a tremendous finale to our season." "We are thrilled that The Normal Heart will launch its national tour at Arena Stage," added producer Daryl Roth. "How fitting that Larry's beautiful play will have its Washington premiere during AIDS 2012, and give voice to the bravery of those who fought against society for help during the early days of the AIDS crisis."

The story of a city in denial, The Normal Heart, press note state, "unfolds like a real-life political thriller—as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this outrageous, unflinching and totally unforgettable look at the politics of New York during the AIDS crisis remains one of the theater's most powerful evenings ever."

The Normal Heart played a limited, sold-out engagement on Broadway last season at the John Golden Theatre. The design team includes David Rockwell (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), David Weiner (lighting), David Van Tieghem (sound and original music), and Batwin & Robin (projections).

Patrons who had tickets to Like Water for Chocolate will be issued new tickets to The Normal Heart. Patrons with tickets to Mary T. & Lizzy K. will be credited for the value of their tickets. Patrons with questions may call the Arena Stage Sales Office at (202) 488-3300.

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