“The Normal Heart” is an AIDS drama by Larry Kramer about the beginning of an epidemic that has killed millions won the Tony 26 years after it was first mounted at the Public Theater. It was directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, and beat out Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.”

The play is about fear, love and activism in the early days of the AIDS first surfaced in the mid1980s. Kramer said in an acceptance speech, “To gay people everywhere, whom I love so, The Normal Heart is our history. I could not have written it had not so many of us so needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight. Let them know that we are a very special people, an exceptional people and that our day will come.”

The play, which stars Joe Mantello and Ellen Barkin, is the personal story of Kramer who helped found the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and bickered with colleagues about the best way to address the disease.

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