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What Is the Story of Angels in America: Perestroika?
In the second part of Tony Kushner’s epic drama of gay life in mid-1980s America, the eight characters introduced in Millennium Approaches pick up their stories at precisely the point that the first play ends. Mormon lawyer Joe Pitt is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay and embarks on a relationship with Louis Ironson, the estranged partner of Prior Walter. Joe’s mother, Hannah, becomes a major character after impulsively selling her Salt Lake City home and moving to New York, where she tries to keep an eye on Joe’s pill-popping wife, Harper. Meanwhile, Roy Cohn lays dying; his feisty nurse Belize covets the lawyer’s secret stash of AZT on behalf of Prior, who continues to battle AIDS and interacts with the angel who seemingly drops from heaven and addresses him as a “prophet.” Will this fascinating collection of New Yorkers survive the coming of the new millennium?
What Is Angels in America: Perestroika Like?
This first off-Broadway mounting of Tony Kushner’s acclaimed play retains the epic scope of the 1993 Broadway premiere production, despite being presented on the relatively small stage of Signature Theatre Company’s Peter Norton Space. A pair of rotating set pieces transforms the two halves of the stage into hospital rooms, apartments and offices, with projections helping to complete the effect. The ensemble cast is uniformly excellent, and the three-hour-and-forty-minute running time speeds by as audiences get caught up in the characters’ struggles and arguments over sex, religion, politics and morality. This is a “don’t miss it” theater event, but be sure to see Millennium Approaches, which introduces the characters, first.
Is Angels in America: Perestroika Good for Kids?
The production includes full frontal male and female nudity, frequent use of profanity and shifting plotlines (including dream and hallucination sequences) that will make no sense to children. Angels in America is for older teens and adults only.