The Normal Heart

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ellen Barkin and Joe Mantello talk about their roles in Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart.” The play is about a city in denial, and it unfolds like a political thriller as a close group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians, and the media bury the truth about an unspoken epidemic. “The Normal Heart” is playing at the Golden Theater through July 10.


Ellen Barkin and Joe Mantello

Comments [3]

JJ from Manhattan

Thank you, Mr. Lopate, for this interview. Thank you, WNYC, for running it. See. This. Play. See it. Whether you lived it or were not alive yet. Whether you know nothing about the era or lived every terrifying moment of it. See it. And as for Mr. Lopate's suggestion that Larry Kramer was off-putting, yes. AND: Larry Kramer changed the world, in many ways because he was/is so "off-putting." At age 24, scared and powerless, in the wake of news that more than half my friends had been infected, I came back east and happened upon the ActUP action in D.C. Thousands of young people stormed the FDA on one autumn weekend and fast-track testing was born (please google Vito Russo's speech from that weekend and read it). That was the second-most horrifying time to be young and gay (second because I had not been completely blind-sided by this plague; there was already safe-sex education and literature, thanks to the gay community and people like LARRY. But still, people were dying all over the place). But this action was the most inspiring, empowering moment of my life. It made me move back east to join the war, with thousands of fellow LGBT soldiers, many under 30, like me. We were there because of Larry. Larry was our father, our mentor, our general. Yes, Larry has, as long as I have known of him, by turns irascible, irrepressible, unbearable. And he is also, if you get to know him just the teeniest bit, lovable. And a genius. He is a lovable genius with a passion for truth and justice and, most important, the tireless commitment to make these the order of the day, against all odds. Larry Kramer: a true American hero. See. This. Play.

May. 27 2011 12:50 AM
Ivey from Brooklyn, NY

Most people think of AIDS now as a problem that does not effect the US. It is an international epidemic and that does not exclude The United States.

May. 26 2011 12:31 PM
Melinda Hunt from Peekskill, NY

My husband was in medical school in Chicago in 1981. I remember the medical community discussing AIDS, by that name, in November 1981. It was referred to as a disease transmitted by shared blood that they felt came from green monkeys. It was terrible for the medical community. I also had friends with AIDS who never discussed that they were gay even though it was well known. Reagan was more interested in firing the air traffic controllers.

May. 26 2011 12:22 PM

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