Monday, November 23, 2009

Angels in America

Yesterday I was privileged enough to spend the entire day at the Forum Theatre in Silver Spring, where I just got to see Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on American Themes by Tony Kushner. This play (in two epic 3.5 hour parts) tells the story of Prior Walter's decent and accent to become a Prophet for the new Millennium and the trials and tribulations of those around him and beyond him in the mid-80s.

The whole play spans 8 acts and an epilogue. (Three in the first play Millennium Approaches and five in Perestroika).

Millennium introduces the main characters of Prior and his lover/boyfriend of 4.5 years, Lewis (over sexed, under paid, Jew, worrier, that can't handle change); the closeted, self-loathing, Republican, Mormon Joe and his Valium-addicted, hallucinating wife;  Roy Cohen, closeted, Republican, lawyer who after dialing 15 numbers can get the president's wife on the phone and feels like he can rule the world; Ethel Rosen (a ghost) killed during the McCarthy Trials - Roy had a hand in her death; Harper, Joe's Mormon mother; Belez, Prior's best friend from their drag days; and The Angel. Along with various other characters that are double and triple cast by the 8 actors.

Prior announces he has AIDS which sets off a chain of events that connects all the characters (Except Ethel).

This is such an amazing script. It talks about AIDS and AZT, McCarthyism, Mormonism, love, sex, drugs and father/son relationships. All this in 7 hours!

Watching the play yesterday was a trial, but worth it. The first part was too reminiscent of the movie (right down to casting and costuming) while the second part had more of the director adding his own ideas. The play was well acted. I believe that this performance was amazing. I hope to one day write a play that is as powerfully performed as this! 

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