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Situation: ‘Normal’ for an HBO preem

Pic is based on play about challenging marriage

HBO extended its formidable range from “The Sopranos” to the castrati when it preemed “Normal,” the story of a married Midwestern man’s sex change operation, Monday at the Geffen.

The choice of a playhouse for a film premiere stems from the pic’s roots: The movie is based on Jane Anderson’s play “Looking for Normal,” which opened at the Geffen in 2001.

Anderson, who helmed and wrote the film, said, “Transgender is a metaphor for the biggest challenge you can throw at a marriage. How much change can you bear in your beloved?”

Or as HBO Film’s topper Colin Callender put it, “If marriage is for better or for worse, how much worse can it get than this?”

Among those on hand were HBO’s Keri Putnam; exec producers Cary Brokaw and Lydia Dean Pilcher; editor Lisa Fruchtman; stars Jessica Lange, Tom Wilkinson, Hayden Panettiere, Joe Sikora and Randall Arney; plus guests David Schwimmer and Michelle Satter.

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