How to Succeed vet Christopher J. Hanke will join cast members from the 2011 Tony Award-winning revival of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart in the show’s upcoming national tour. The production, helmed by Broadway co-director George C. Wolfe, will begin at Arena Stage in Washington D.C., where it will run June 8 to July 29. Further casting will be announced shortly.
Broadway cast members Patrick Breen, who played Mickey Marcus on Broadway, will lead the cast as AIDS activist Ned Weeks (played on Broadway by Joe Mantello). Luke MacFarlane, who played Craig Donner/Grady on Broadway, will now play Ned’s lover Felix Turner (a role for which John Benjamin Hickey won a 2011 Tony Award). Hanke will join the cast as Tommy Boatwright, the role played on Broadway by Jim Parsons.
Set in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, The Normal Heart unfolds as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unnamed disease behind a wall of silence. The play premiered at the Public Theater on April 21, 1985. The 2011 Broadway revival also starred Ellen Barkin, Lee Pace, Mark Harelik, Richard Topol and Wayne Alan Wilcox.