‘The Normal Heart’ to play in Taylor Little Theatre

Naomi Greenstein, Staff Writer

As the weeks continue to fly by, we are slowly coming to the last few Sunday afternoon movies in Taylor Little Theatre.
This weekend’s movie will be a showing of The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons.
The 2014 drama takes place during the 1980s in New York City, when the HIV/AIDs crisis was first occurring and the nation was in a state of ignorant panic.
The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, was once a stage play of the same name written by Larry Kramer in 1985. The story is depicted through the eyes of the main protagonist, an openly gay writer named Ned Weeks, who was actually written as the alter ego of Larry Kramer.
Ned is at the center of the AIDs crisis when a close friend who originally appears on the screen in good health, collapses during a birthday party in Fire Island Pines on Long Island. While traveling on the train back to the city, Ned comes across an article in the New York Times titled “Rare Cancer Diagnosed in 41 Homosexuals.”
He immediately visits the office of Emma Brookner, Md, played by Julia Roberts. She does not find any lesions on his body like others who were diagnosed with the new condition, or any other symptoms for that matter, but asks for his help in raising awareness of it in the gay community.
Eventually, Ned becomes an activist and the founder of an HIV advocacy group, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and fights to raise awareness and get more funding for research for the gay community while they are slowly dying around him from the disease.
The Normal Heart is a powerful, heartbreaking drama, as well as a vital document of events leading up to and through the early AIDS crisis.
The film will be shown this Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, students and military, and $1 for students with their Mercyhurst IDs.