The Normal Heart, a play about the rise of the AIDS crisis in New York, is on at Buddies in Bad Times until Nov. 18

As an actress, people are constantly telling me about the theatre they’ve seen.

Sometimes it’s eloquent and enlightening- “I love the dark wit of Martin McDonagh, and his latest show is a must-see! Get thee to New York!”

Sometimes it’s cliche and rhetorical- “Have you heard of this musical Wicked?” “I love Phantom of The Opera!”

I love it. All of it. If you go to every cheesy touring musical, if you see underground short plays in the back of a pub, I love it. You are supporting an amazing medium, and you are experiencing a live piece of art that will never happen again. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s moving. And sometimes it defies definition.

Studio 180’s remounted production of The Normal Heart falls into another category of art, one I’ve only experienced a handful of times. A category so true and deep that you’re upset and inspired all at once. I’m sorry if it sounds super pretentious or weird, but it’s this incredible thing. The acting is honest and gripping, the plot, devastating. The Normal Heart tells the story of the rise of the Aids epidemic in New York in the Eighties. Historically, it’s vitally important and on a personal level, The Normal Heart slaughtered me. I knew going in that this show was deeply emotional and fully expected to be moved. And I was moved, but in a different way than I had anticipated. I came home to write a review and just felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The subject matter is so important, and the artistry is basically flawless.

 It will make you think, it will make you sad, it will make you want to do something. I saw this show a week ago and I’m still processing it. All I can say is- go see this play, you will not regret it. 

The Normal Heart plays until November 18th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

~ Kristy LaPointe

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