Friday, May 13, 2011

Broadway and the Fight Against AIDS Continues...
by Janet Lawler

Larry Kramer's revival play on Broadway
Don't miss The Normal Heart now playing on Broadway. 

What an incredibly powerful play!  It's about the AIDS epidemic that struck the New York gay community in the 1980s... and how medical officials, a NYC mayor, a United States president, the medical community and even some in the gay community itself turned its back on the disease and on those dying from it.  

Back then, there were a few brave individuals who raised their voices over the hot button political issue, the homophobia, the bigotry and demanded attention and research be paid to fight AIDS.  Those individuals saved lives.

There is still no cure for AIDS.  It remains a global plague (although never officially labeled one).

Actress Ellen Barkin plays one of these courageous souls -- a NYC doctor -- who screamed from the top of her lungs to fight AIDS while her young, male patients died in droves at her hospital.  Barkin has one major scene toward the end of Act II, where she confronts a government medical panel dragging its feet on giving her funding to fight the disease.  Barkin delivers some of the best lines of the play and leaves the audience stunned and cheering when the scene ends. 

Gosh, I hope Ellen Barkin wins the Tony Award in June.  She's phenomenal.  Go see the play if you're in New York.

35 million people have died from AIDS worldwide.  35 million people.

This weekend in Central Park (May 15th) is the Annual AIDS Walk.  I'll be taking part with a group of my friends.   Sign up online, put on your sneakers and join in.  The fight is not over.

After seeing The Normal Heart last Friday night, some of the actors came outside to take pictures and sign autographs.  They were all gracious and enjoyed mingling with theatergoers.

Photos by Carolina Correa.
Actor Jim Parsons
Actor Joe Mantello
Ellen Barkin
John Benjamin Hickey

Right next door another play That Championship Season was just letting out.  That cast includes Christopher Noth, Keifer Sutherland, Jason Patric (his late father, Jason Miller, wrote the play) and others.  The crowd of theatergoers along W. 45th Street went ballistic -- screaming and running to see the actors at the stage door.  Noth and Patric laughed and worked the lines smiling, taking photos with fans and signing Playbills.
Chris Noth greets fans at stage door
Chris Noth & Jason Patric sign autographs

Fun night on Broadway!  Go see this play soon -- it ends May 29th!

Until next time.

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