StageLight Entertainment

The Off - Broadway Theater of Long Island

The Normal Heart

by

Larry Kramer

Directed by Christopher Rosselli

A SPECIAL EVENT

Co-Presented by

 - The Cinema Arts Centre -  

- The Long Island

Gay and Lesbian Film Festival -  

- StageLight Entertainment - 

 

JULY 27 AT 3PM 

AT

Cinema Arts Centre

423 PARK AVENUE
HUNTINGTON NY 11743

631.423.7611 / 631.423.FILM
 
 
 

 

 

The story of a city in denial, "The Normal Heart" unfolds like a real life political thriller as a tightly knit group of friends 
refuses to let doctors, politicians, and the press bury the truth of an unspoken health epidemic behind a wall of silence.  
Three decades after it was written and first debuted Off-Broadway at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Larry Kramer's 
semi-autobiographical, outrageous, unflinching, and totally unforgettable look at the sexual politics of New York during 
the AIDS crisis of the early 1980's remains one of the theater's most powerful evenings and is still as relevant as ever.  
"The Normal Heart" won the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and was recently made into a TV film for HBO,
starring Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts.


 Featuring

Ned Weeks - Franklyn Butler

Felix Turner - Robert Burney

Dr. Emma Brookner - Jessie Maldonado

Ben Weeks - James Carey

Craig Donner - Michael John Ruggiere

Bruce Niles - Mike McKasty

Tommy Boatwright -Kevin Todd Hansen

Hiram Keebler - Guy DeMatties

Examining Doctor - Scott Eichholz

Mickey Marcus - James Alexander

 Grady/David - Shaun Keappock

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

The NORMAL HEART was an emotional roller coaster so strap in. It has wonderful character development and continuity in the storyline. It offers uncomfortable truth to the chosen ignorance of not only the government and city of New York in the early eighties on the Aids epidemic, but the people of New York both gay and straight alike. The Normal Heart highlighted many complicated relationships that still exist today: Society and the government, Intimate relationships between 2 men as compared to frolicking around loveless, being the gay brother to a straight family and overcoming the alienation within your own family dynamic, fighting within the gay community of activists to be taken seriously and unifying towards a common goal. There is more to this story than just how AIDS effected the gay community in the late 70's/early 80's. This play offers any group of people that have been oppression or ignored because of who they are and what they stood for. There were so many more life lessons to be had from the exposure of The Normal Heart. Please don't let me ruin the ending for you...it's a doozie!

In conclusion, I implore all those who are effected by AIDS either personally or have a friend or family member that is to come support this local theater's story.

- Ken Sanfilippo

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The Normal Heart was heartbreaking, intense, and incredibly moving! Honestly, I can't say enough good things about this show. NYC people, it's not too far from the Lindenhurst LIRR station. Don't miss this one

- Mary Shannon Heuman

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I was privileged to be in the audience at the Long Island premiere of "The Normal Heart" by Larry Kramer. (soon to be a major HBO event starring Mark Ruffalo & Julia Roberts) After having recovered my composure at the gut-wrenchingly evocative ending, I walked out the small intimate theater with a profound sense of awe and knew that I had just witnessed Long Island theater at it's very finest.

If you are not familiar with the title, it is playwright Larry Kramers semi autobiographical glimpse into the AIDS crisis in it's early stages and the burgeoning devastation wrecked upon a circle of friends and society in general circa 1981 through 1985. This modern day plague here to fore without a name catapults writer Ned Weeks and Dr. Emma Brookner into a seemingly futile search for acknowledgement, answers, publicity, funding for medical research, and simple human decency for the ever increasing victims of this mysterious fatal virus. Ned and a small circle of friends form a foundation which became the Gay Mens Health Crisis center and their quest for a treatment, a cure, or for even a voice of compassion and help from the public and seemingly callous and uncaring New York City political machine leaves the audience with a sense of outrage, shock and a deep pervading sense of sadness at the injustice of a system that for years just kept sweeping this epidemic under the rug.

The actors portrayals are stunning and unforgettable. Franklyn Butler as intense and haunted 'Ned Weeks' is a burning force of nature and truly mesmerizing to watch. Robert Burney as his lover Felix is a study in eloquence and human grace, Jesse Maldonado as Dr. Emma Brookner is graceful and deeply effective at bringing to life the deep sadness in the heart of a dedicated physician grappling with her sheer helplessness in the face of such relentless devastation, and Michael Carlin, a Long Island theater veteran- gives the performance of a lifetime in his gut wrenching soliloquy on the futility of hope as a gay man in this lifetime. Mike McKasty as GMAC's acting president Bruce Niles has his own segment that brings into vivid detail the soul sucking experience of the death of a loved one en route to seeing his mother for the last time and the cruelty imposed upon them by members of society in uniform who are supposed to protect and serve. Kevin Todd Hansen infuses the small part of Tommy Boatwright- a self proclaimed "Gay Southern Bitch" with heartwarming tenderness and humor. The rest of the cast provides the strong glue that keeps the story moving from year to year and Christopher Rosselli's direction is subtle and brilliantly executed, he has brought out the strengths of his cast and his set-simple, stark and totally effective.

-Dawn Dichter

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I saw your show last night and spent a nearly sleepless night as a result. I can't begin to tell you how moved I was by the play and the performances. That was my time, those are my people. I was a volunteer for GMHC on a "buddy team" in the late 80s and later active for a while in ACT UP! The play brings to vivid life the terrifying beginning to the AIDS crisis, when nobody knew what caused it or how to prevent it and when a diagnosis basically meant you had 2 months to live and would face a horrible and painful death. In your 30s! My first buddy/client was none other than Nicholas Dante who at the time was struggling to see himself get some of the recognition he deserved for writing A Chorus Line. He lived only about 3 months after I met him, and his death devastated me. You would get to know these guys very intimately as a buddy. 2 more "buddies" in succession after Nicholas. It was strange and wonderful to come to know people at this point in their lives, and surreal. After the death of my third buddy I had to take a break. I had lost a dozen of my own dear friends at that point, and many more would follow. I lived with the guilt for many years of "why was I spared" for which there is not a clear answer. But certainly one reason was to continue to tell stories like my own, and that of The Normal Heart. An entire generation has turned since those days and many people don't have the horror of what we went through in their consciousness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if we slip back into risky behaviors, the deaths of so many in my generation were even more pointless. Thank you Christopher Rosselli for bringing this story to life in Lindenhurst for us. The cast was all amazing. Franklyn you are a treasure. I'm blown away by that performance. There is only one more chance to see this cast, please don't miss it. Bring kleenex. Love to you all!

-Gregory Cortelyou

 

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