Broadway Revival of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart Wins Three 2011 Tony Awards

The AIDS Memorial Candlelight Vigil, Washington DC, 1989

Broadway Revival of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart Wins Three 2011 Tony Awards

Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, which originally was performed at New York City’s Public Theater in 1985, won the 2011 Tony Award for revival of a play. The play is considered to be a literary landmark, contending with the AIDS crisis when few would speak of the disease afflicting gay men, including gays themselves. It remains the longest-running play ever staged at the Public Theater.

In addition, The Tony award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role went to Ellen Barkin, and the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play went to John Benjamin Hickey, both for their performances in The Normal Heart. Producer Daryl Roth accepted the award, but it was the playwright Larry Kramer, an outspoken gay activist for many years, who received the biggest welcome from the audience. The writer exhorted the gay community to “carry on the fight,” adding that “our day will come.”

The stunning, pulse-pounding ensemble drama tells the groundbreaking story of love, rage and pride as it follows a group of New Yorkers confronting the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s. The story of a city in denial, The Normal Heart unfolds like a real-life political thriller, as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this unflinching, and totally unforgettable look at the sexual politics of New York City during the AIDS crisis remains one of the theater’s most powerful evenings ever.

Tony Awards Acceptance Speech: The Normal Heart

Broadway’s Revival of The Normal Heart and The AIDS Crisis

Highlights From Broadway’s The Normal Heart

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Vin Diesel’s Multi-Facial: Not Too Light, Not Too Dark

Vin Diesel’s Multi-Facial: Not Too Light, Not Too Dark

Multi-Facial is a fascinating, emotionally moving 1995 short film that was written, directed and produced by Vin Diesel, who also played the starring role in the film. Whether you’re a cult fan of Vin Diesel’s high-octane action thrillers, or a movie snob who can’t stand him, you need to leave your biases at the door on this one: Multi-Facial is an awesome short film.

As a struggling actor in the early 1990′s, Vin Diesel couldn’t get any jobs. So he went in the time-honored direction for out-of-work actors and made his own film. The semi-autobiographical short film presents a dramatic male monologue about the problems that accompany an actor as he goes to a variety of auditions, due to his multi-ethnic appearance. It was a pretty successful move for him too; the film played at Cannes in 1995, and based largely on the impression the short made upon Steven Spielberg, Diesel was able to land his star-making role in Saving Private Ryan.

Vin Diesel’s monologue in the closing audition scene is unexpectedly emotional, effortlessly and organically concluding the themes built up throughout the film. A wonderful showcase for Diesel’s real talents, the film works amazingly well cinematically, making it one of the greatest short films ever made about acting.

Vin Diesel: Multi-Facial

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