Happy MLK Day readers! We have frigid cold temperatures here in Massachusetts after yesterdays snowstorm. What was supposed to be nearly a foot of snow ended up becoming a sleet and rain mix. Halfway through January and the first snowstorm of 2019 finally arrived.
For the record, it has been very cold these past few weeks. I have been hunkering down in warmer spots indoors to escape the brutal cold. It definitely helped to have a riveting play in my hands, which is the topic for the latest Reading Series.
Today’s episode is about a play. It revolves around a tragic health PR nightmare around New York City during the 1980s. One man fights for his partners life, as well as his friends around him, in a time of darkness. This is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.
The Normal Heart is an autobiographical play by Larry Kramer about the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981 to 1984. It takes us through the mind of Ned Weeks, a writer/activist who established the prominent HIV activist group. Weeks preferred the loud, public confrontations over the latter; this causes various memorable arguments among the characters. One of those supporters is Felix Turner, who becomes Ned Weeks’s love life.
Reading The Normal Heart was truly an emotional journey. Ned Weeks’s violent confrontations with both his enemies and friends truly showcased his passion throughout the play. He wanted to solve the cure for AIDS so badly that he was willing to go any lengths to get to it.
It wasn’t just about finding the cure for AIDS – Ned Weeks was looking to become the true savior to all the gay men in the country. He wanted all of them to keeping living the life they truly wanted. This widespread germ warfare only dampened their lives even further. Getting this information out to the public would be the first step in eradicating the disease.
Interestingly enough, I saw the film version of The Normal Heart by Ryan Murphy back in 2014. The film starred Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina, and Jonathan Groff. I thought the film version was amazing, even though I watched it BEFORE I read the play.
In the end, The Normal Heart was truly an emotional, yet amazing play. Ned Weeks fought tooth and nail to solve the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City. He couldn’t stand to see any more of his friends dies from this horrific disease.
Definitely check out The Normal Heart this year.