Kushner's stage works, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America: Perestroika won the Best Play Tony Awards in 1993 and 1994, respectively. The first half of the theatrical epic which centered on AIDS, religion, family, sexuality, spirituality and politics, was also won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. The Broadway cast included Ellen McLaughlin as the Angel, Ron Leibman as Roy Cohn, Stephen Spinella as Prior Walter, Joe Mantello as Louis Ironson, Marcia Gay Harden as Harper Pitt, David Marshall Grant as Joe Pitt, Kathleen Chalfant as Hannah Pitt and Jeffrey Wright in a variety of roles, including the former drag queen Belize.
Wright, who won a Tony Award for his turn in Perestroika, is the only original Broadway cast member to appear in the HBO production. He appears as Belize opposite Al Pacino as Roy Cohn, Meryl Streep as Hannah Pitt, Emma Thompson as the Angel, Mary-Louise Parker as Harper Pitt, Justin Kirk as Prior Walter, Ben Shenkman as Louis Ironson, Patrick Wilson as Joe Pitt, James Cromwell as Henry and Michael Gambon and Simon Callow in featured roles as Priors.
Mike Nichols wil direct the HBO version from Tony Kushner's adaptation. Cary Brokaw executive produces with Nichols, Mike Haley co-executive produces and Celia Costas produces.