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Mantello Throws Fit in ‘Normal Heart’; Rock’s Queen: Review

In a Broadway season robust with bravura performances, comes another that makes demands of our souls along with our ears.

In “The Normal Heart,” Joe Mantello plays Ned Weeks, a stand-in for playwright Larry Kramer, founder and later ex-communicant from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The year is 1985 and for some time now, healthy young gay men have been developing mysterious ailments, including tell-tale purple lesions that never heal. They are dying in ever-greater numbers. No one is paying attention.