WASHINGTON (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.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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