By Lawrence Frascella
Updated May 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

In 1985, Larry Kramer wrote the right play for the right time. It was one of the first to deal with the politics of AIDS, and it did so in an angry, earth-scorching manner. While many of its targets were specific to the Reagan era, remarkably the show has not dated. That’s because Kramer’s politics prove to be inextricably bound to his passion — and his ego. In David Esbjornson’s stark new production, The Normal Heart remains a fiercely personal drama, centered on a high-strung hero much like the playwright himself (ferociously played by Raul Esparza). A galvanizing experience — and a thunderously powerful history lesson. (TC)