The Normal Heart will replace Like Water for Chocolate in season’s lineup;
Mary T and Lizzie K is postponed
The Tony Award winning Broadway production of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s lacerating story about a gay activist in an era indifferent to the crisis of AIDs, will launch its National Tour by joining the Arena Stage season’s lineup in place of Like Water for Chocolate, the company announced yesterday.
The company also announced that it would postpone production of Mary T. and Lizzie K., a world premiere scheduled for June 1 – July 22, 2012.
In The Normal Heart, which is set in the early eighties, Ned Weeks attempts to rally support against a disease which, for unknown reasons, seems to strike gay men disproportionately. The play traces his rage against the city’s indifference, the accommodating attitude of his fellow gays, and his own brother, who pays only lip service to the cause. Reviewing the original production for the New York Times, Frank Rich said, “In this fiercely polemical drama … the playwright starts off angry, soon gets furious and then skyrockets into sheer rage.” The Normal Heart is scheduled to run in the June 8 – July 29, 2012 slot originally reserved for Like Water for Chocolate, coinciding with AIDS 2012, the biennial AIDS conference which will return to the United States after a 22-year absence.
Arena explained that Like Water for Chocolate, Quiara Alegría Hudes’ (In the Heights) world-premiere musical adaptation of the Laura Esquivel novel, would need too much more time for development to be ready for the scheduled June 3, 2012 start date. “The creative process for a new musical and the economic climate can sometimes be nearly impossible to predict,” Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith said. “Due to changes in the creative team, unavoidable scheduling conflicts arose for Like Water for Chocolate, causing its postponement.”
Arena Stage attributes the postponement of Tazewell Thompson’s Mary T. and Lizzie K. to $1 million in Federal budget cuts scheduled for this year and the next. Arena understands that there may be further cuts as well.
“I am…deeply saddened that the cuts we have encountered from federal government have resulted in the delay of bringing Tazewell’s strong new play to our audiences,” Smith said. The production, according to previous releases, would have imagined an encounter between Mary Todd Lincoln – at the point of the play, an impoverished widow – and a freed slave.
Patrons who had tickets to Like Water for Chocolate will be issued new tickets to The Normal Heart. Patrons with tickets to Mary T. & Lizzy K. will be credited for the value of their tickets. Patrons with questions may call the Arena Stage Sales Office at 202-488-3300.
For more information about the Broadway production of The Normal Heart visit thenormalheartbroadway.com.