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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President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

Congress gave final approval on Sunday night to historic health reform legislation that will provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines initially proposed by President Obama.  When the decisive 216th vote went up on the electronic tally board in the House chamber, Democrats erupted in cheers and reprised the “Yes, we can!” chant from the Obama presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law a landmark health care reform bill, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a year of vigorous debate.  The law will bring near-universal coverage to a wealthy country in which tens of millions of people have been left uninsured.

We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health,” Obama said at a signing ceremony at the White House.  President Obama was joined by House and Senate legislators who backed the bill, as well as by ordinary Americans whose health care struggles have touched the president.

President Obama On Passage of the Health Reform Legislation

President Obama Signs Health Reform Into Law

Slide Show: President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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