WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Arena Stage is hosting a special benefit performance of “The Normal Heart” to raise funds for Washington-area AIDS organizations.

The benefit on Monday night raises funds for the Washington AIDS Partnership, which awards more than $1 million in local grants each year. The event includes a VIP cocktail hour, a performance and an after-hours dance party.

The play by Larry Kramer is set in the early 1980s during the outbreak of AIDS. It follows a group of gay men who become activists, pushing doctors and politicians to acknowledge the disease and fund research. The play won the Tony Award for best revival on Broadway last year.

Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith says the play can help spread awareness in a city with one of the nation’s highest HIV rates.

Arena Stage is a not-for-profit regional theater that serves an annual audience of more than 300,000 people.

To see what other performances are scheduled for Arena Stage through the end of the summer, such as the critically acclaimed “One Night with Janis Joplin”, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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