Emotional staged reading for Larry Kramer's AIDS drama

Barely contained sobs ricocheted through the Walter Kerr Theater during the 25th anniversary staged reading of Larry Kramer’s AIDS drama “The Normal Heart,” directed by Joel Grey (who replaced Brad Davis in the original production) and produced by Daryl Roth as a benefit for the Actors Fund and Friends in Deed.

Joe Mantello returned to his thesp roots, essaying the lead role. The all-star cast included Michael Cerveris, Glenn Close, Victor Garber, John Benjamin Hickey, Michael Stuhlbarg and Patrick Wilson.

At the Bond 45 after-party, Roth revealed how the big night came together: “Joel Grey called and asked it I’d like to do this, and it took me no time to say yes. I’ve always loved this play, and Larry Kramer is one of my icons.”

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