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In Adam and the Experts, the hero Adam (John Finch) visits his dying best friend Eddie (Benjamin Evett), after having unsuccessfully sought help from the AIDS “experts” of the title. Looking on is The Man (Joseph DiRocco), a fantasy figure who at the moment of Eddie’s death reveals how his life would have progressed had it not been cut short.
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AIDS theater gained momentum with the highly successful productions of William Hoffman’s As Is and Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart in 1985, both of which promoted AIDS education, challenged dominant ideology, and evoked empathy in audiences who preferred to maintain a distance. According to critics Joel Shatzky and D.S. Lawson, these plays established and embodied two divergent responses to the epidemic: personal nostalgia for the innocence and sexual abundance of the past and public outrage at the apathy of those in power.