With feeling

By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 10, 2010

Other actors, too, hit some breathtaking emotional high notes. Watch for Hoban's helpless, terrified grief when Felix is first diagnosed; for Gardner's devastating slow boil to desperate anger and disgust as she is stonewalled by the mayor's assistant (Nicholas Schroeder); and for Brimmer when Bruce finally cracks, as he tells Ned about his dead lover being thrown out of the hospital with the trash.

The horrors of The Normal Heart remain poignant not just because AIDS and attitudes toward it are still disastrous in many parts of the world. Even more vital is its larger scope: It depicts what happens when, culturally and institutionally, we respond to crisis with irrational fear, exclusion, and willful ignorance. Mad Horse's production, acted with exceptional feeling and conviction, is a staggering reminder of how much there is to lose.

Megan Grumbling can be reached at mgrumbling@hotmail.com.

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