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  The Normal Heart Reviews
The Normal Heart
Fountain Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...Tim Cummings turns in a fearlessly outsize portrayal of Ned Weeks. Heís a walking bullhorn forever on the brink of a tantrum, and the small venue quakes with his indignation. The authenticity of Cummingsí conviction isnít in dispute, but his acting has the self-contained quality of a solo performance piece."
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Charles McNulty

LA Weekly- Recommended

"...Director Simon Levy has mounted a deeply moving production at the Fountain Theatre, bathed in the compassion without which it would be merely a horror story, and performed by a deeply committed ensemble."
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Neal Weaver

Broadway World- Recommended

"...The wake-up callís revival at the Fountain Theatre, not seen in Los Angeles in nearly twenty years, is directed with meticulous detail by Simon Levy and has an outstanding cast led by the prolific Tim Cummings as Ned Weeks."
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Don Grigware

LAist- Recommended

"...The production is excellent on all levels, from Simon Levy's dynamic direction to the outstanding ensemble, with Tim Cummings delivering an electrifying, career-best lead performance."
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Terry Morgan

Edge- Recommended

"...The Fountainís thoughtful and moving production of this classic qualifies as a must-see."
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Les Spindle

Stage and Cinema- Somewhat Recommended

"...The production at the Fountain is middle-of-the-road due to Levyís casting inconsistencies and his unfocused direction of the actors. Letís classify it as ďnormalĒ for L.A. theater. I just wish it had more heart."
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Tony Frankel

Stage Scene LA- Recommended

"...Larry Kramerís landmark drama The Normal Heart gets its first L.A. staging in nearly two decades, and tough as it may be to revisit the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic, this absolutely brilliant production is one that no Los Angeles theater lover should miss, and the younger the audience the better."
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Steven Stanley Recommended

"...In a splendid production at the Fountain Theatre, director Simon Levy has assembled a remarkable cast who pour heart-and-soul into making Mr. Kramerís noisy play electric and thrilling."
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Dale Reynolds

ArtsInLA- Somewhat Recommended

"...The productionís main weakness, a lack of modulation in the acting, may fix itself or get attended to over time."
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Bob Verini

Culture Spot LA- Somewhat Recommended

"...Possibly truer to Kramerís actual behavior than other theater companies have attempted, this production makes for a very lopsided drama. Whereas other productions worked effectively as ensemble pieces in recounting the beginnings of AIDS, this seems more like a one-man show, with background characters."
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Gil Kaan

Working Authur- Recommended

"...Director Simon Levy delivers a top quality production enhanced by Adam Flemming's exceptional video presentation. But it is Kramer who dominates the stage."
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Ernest Kearney

LifeInLA- Somewhat Recommended

"...The actors were all over the map, from completely uneven and awkward, to quite nicely developed. Almost all of the actors were unrestrained, some to the point of appearing unnatural, and some to the point of hysteria. There was a lack of control from so many of the actors that many moments that should have been effective were awkward and disingenuous."
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Patrick Hurley

The Los Angeles Post- Recommended

"...This is a complex piece of work, strongly written to get into your soul. It made me really sad to relive it all over again. Although itís a hard play to watch and a little long and tedious at times, itís important we not forget things from this critical time in history."
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Rose Desena

Los Angeles Im Yours- Somewhat Recommended

"...The writing itself is frustrated and often strident. Coupled with acting that leans into this tendency, the production was occasionally unbearable and rendered Tim Cummings as Weeks unsympathetic in a manner that Joe Mantello was not in the 2011 Broadway revival. Perhaps it is unfair to compare one production to another but there was a dignity on Broadway occasionally sacrificed in this production, although it was reclaimed by the likes of Bill Brochtrup (Felix Turner), Matt Gottlieb (Ben Weeks) and Stephen O'Mahoney (Bruce Niles). It is no coincidence that these actors offered the performances in which you were not yearning to put your hands over your ears."
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Erin Neel