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Ruffalo Cast in Film Adaptation of Kramer's 'The Normal Heart' reports that Mark Ruffalo ('The Kids Are All Right,' AWAKE AND SING!) has signed on to play 'Ned Weeks' in Larry Kramer's film adaptation of his play THE NORMAL HEART. 'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy is reported to be involved, though it is unclear whether he is producing or directing. A production schedule and release date have not yet been announced.

THE NORMAL HEART focuses on the terrifying early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York and the criminal silence of official America in dealing with it. First produced by Joseph Papp and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg for New York's Public Theater, The play was a critical sensation and ran for 294 performances.

Frank Rich in the New York Times wrote of the original production, "The stage seethes with the conflict of impassioned, literally life-and-death argument." In his Newsweek review, Jack Kroll called it, "Extraordinary ... a fierce and moving human drama." Other responses included Liz Smith in the New York Daily News: "An astounding drama . . . a damning indictment of a nation in the middle of an epidemic with its head in the sand. It will make your hair stand on end even as the tears spurt from your eyes;" while legendary director Harold Prince stated, "I haven't been this involved - upset - in too damn long. Kramer honors us with this stormy, articulate theatrical work."

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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