PLAYBILL PICKS: Timeless Love Affairs on Stage

By Robert Simonson
13 Feb 2014

Joe Mantello and John Benjamin Hickey
photo by Joan Marcus

The Normal Heart

Love takes a tragic turn in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart when outspoken activist Ned Weeks meets closeted New York Times reporter Felix Turner. Fiery and passionate, Ned's devotion to the AIDS crisis sweeping New York is countered by his falling in love for the first time in his life with the amiable style writer. Felix helps to balance out Ned as his devotion to bringing the government's attention to AIDS grows — and when Felix is diagnosed with the disease himself. The two do not share a happy ending, holding a marriage ceremony in the hospital just before Felix dies, but Kramer's award-winning drama has ensured their place in the theatrical canon.