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'The Normal Heart'
You couldn't really separate the emotional Broadway reappearance of Larry Kramer's howl of anguish from its author's frequent presence on the sidewalk outside, handing out fliers reminding us that most of the American power structure slept as AIDS burned through this nation. The defiant simplicity of Kramer's political act, trying to change one mind at a time, seemed to mirror both the force and the impotence of a 1985 drama that wanted nothing so much as to wake a country up. Joe Mantello's unbowed revival burned with personal anger, but also had moments of great beauty and even optimism. Just as long as Kramer is still out there on the pavement, holding complacent feet to the flame.
Copyright © 2009, The Chicago Tribune
Closed at the Golden Theater, but a tour is pending.