The Necessary Theatre restages ‘The Normal Heart’
(The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The recent, very-limited run of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart by The Necessary Theatre (TNT) was among the year’s most acclaimed theatrical productions. But for all the praise the various aspects of the play received, the two most common sentiments expressed were: how the play awakened the viewer to the HIV crisis in our own country; and that a repeat of the show was imperative.

When The Necessary Theatre’s artistic director Bart Guingona originally wanted to stage the play, years before its 2011 Broadway incarnation, it was based solely on the piece’s dramatic potential. He likened it to the social realism plays of Ibsen, Odets, and Miller. In 2014, Guingona ran across Philippine HIV statistics in a news item and realized that present-day Manila was a frightening mirror of 1981 New York. He was determined to stage the play as an important cautionary tale reflecting our own times.

But, alas, staging a play about something as unpleasant as HIV and the fight against a system that ignores it was a hard sell to potential backers. Luckily, longtime TNT supporter Taal Vista Hotel stepped in to help realize the project, albeit for just five performances. It was a much talked-about, much-praised five-show run and the clamor did not abate until this restaging was announced.

The original Asian premiere of The Normal Heart is back with eight performances starring the original cast in its original venue.

Featured performers are Roselyn Perez, Topper Fabregas, TJ Trinidad, Nor Domingo, Richard Cunanan, Jef Flores, Red Concepcion and Bart Guingona

The Normal Heart is presented by Taal Vista Hotel, and is produced with special arrangement from Samuel French Inc.  Show dates are on Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., and with 3 p.m. matinees on Oct. 4, 10 and 11. Venue is at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. For tickets and information, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or text 09285072924/09175378313. Visit Facebook/The Necessary Theatre; follow on Twitter @AAITNT, #TheNormalHeartMNL; http://thenormalheartmnl.jimdo.com.

BART GUINGONA CARLOS P JEF FLORES LARRY KRAMER NECESSARY THEATRE NEW YORK NOR DOMINGO NORMAL HEART RED CONCEPCION AND BART GUINGONA RICHARD CUNANAN TAAL VISTA HOTEL
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