David Cromer to Lead TimeLine Theatre Company's THE NORMAL HEART
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by BWW News Desk
TimeLine Theatre Company announces actor and director David Cromer will star in a revival of the groundbreaking drama THE NORMAL HEART by Larry Kramer, directed by TimeLine Associate Artistic Director Nick Bowling, projected to open in October 2013. This TimeLine Theatre production-the first Chicago staging of the play since its Tony Award-winning Broadway premiere in 2011-will be presented in a limited run at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont in Chicago. The performance schedule, along with additional productions in TimeLine's 2013-14 season, are still to be announced.
FlexPass subscriptions for TimeLine's 2013-14 season will go on sale in March 2013. Only TimeLine subscribers will be guaranteed priority access to tickets to The Normal Heart. Single tickets for The Normal Heart will go on sale in August 2013. Further details are to be announced. For more information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6.
Set between 1981 and 1984, The Normal Heart is a searing drama about public and private indifference to the AIDS plague and one man's lonely fight to awaken the world to the crisis. Produced to acclaim in New York, London and Los Angeles, The Normal Heart follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist enraged at the unresponsiveness of public officials and the gay community. While trying to save the world from itself, he confronts the personal toll of AIDS when his lover dies of the disease.
The Normal Heart was originally produced Off-Broadway at New York's Public Theater in 1985. It premiered in Chicago at the Next Theatre in 1987 starring Scott McPherson, receiving that year's Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Production. In 2011 it premiered on Broadway to remarkable acclaim, receiving the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, as well as Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critic's Circle awards. "Like the best social playwrights, Kramer produces a cross fire of life and death energies that illuminate the many issues and create a fierce and moving human drama," Newsweek wrote about the Broadway production, and AM New York called it "a powerful example of theater at its most direct, passionate and urgent."
"Larry Kramer crafted one of the 20th Century's great pieces of political theatre-a beautiful, stirring and eloquent provocation-and TimeLine is honored to present this revival under the direction of my inspiring colleague Nick Bowling," said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. "We also can't wait to welcome David Cromer back to the Chicago stage for the first time in five years in his TimeLine debut, to bring his deeply honest sensibility to the central role of Ned Weeks. We hope the mix of Kramer, Bowling, Cromer and TimeLine will get people talking about all that this extraordinary play is about."
"Looking at The Normal Heart today, I see it as a play about the AIDS epidemic, but am struck by how it is also about the journey of homosexuals in America," said Nick Bowling. "Larry Kramer brutally exposes both America's fear of gays and the gay community's inability to pull itself together. It took the catastrophe of the AIDS epidemic to unite that community behind a purpose and make the world begin to deal with us as normal human beings. In some horrible way, AIDS made way for the progress of the modern LGBTQ community."
"It's jarring to remember the terror and the helplessness and the feeling that talking about it was somehow more distasteful than watching dozens and then hundreds of people die horribly and with not very much dignity," said David Cromer. "This play is about the courage necessary to risk being disliked."