“The Normal Heart,” just revived on Broadway, is less a play than a sensory experience, likely to leave audiences feeling drained, exhilarated and perhaps a bit guilty.
That the play is powerful is, given its subject matter, to be expected. That it is nuanced as well is a tribute to playwright Larry Kramer, a man hardly noted for delicacy.
Originally produced in 1985 by the Public Theater, “The Normal Heart” is set in the early 1980s, and closely chronicles Kramer’s own experiences as HIV/AIDS began to spread in the gay community. The disease was almost completely ignored, not only by the straight world, but also by those most likely to be affected by it.