By Kenneth Jones
22 Jun 2010
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
The "gay fantasia on national themes" concerns a closeted Mormon lawyer; his pill-popping wife; AIDS-ravaged anti-gay lawyer Roy Cohn; and a gay couple, Prior and Louis as well as their friends, family, colleagues, caregivers and fantasy-figures.
Performances of the two-part drama, under the direction of Michel Greif, begin Sept. 14 at The Peter Norton Space. Opening is Oct. 28.
Angels in America will feature Robin Bartlett (Prelude to a Kiss, "Mad About You") as Hannah Pitt, Borle (Legally Blonde, Spamalot) as Prior Walter, Heck (The Orphans' Home Cycle, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale) as Joe Pitt, Kazan (The Seagull, A Behanding in Spokane) as Harper Pitt, Billy Porter (Smokey Joe's Café, Five Guys Named Moe) as Belize, Zachary Quinto ("Star Trek," "Heroes") as Louis Ironson, Robin Weigert (Noises Off, The Good German, "Deadwood") as The Angel, and Wood (Side Man, August: Osage County) as Roy Cohn.
According to Signature, "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is set in late 1985 and early 1986, as the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in America is escalating and Ronald Reagan has been elected to a second term in the White House. The play's two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, bring together a young gay man with AIDS (Christian Borle) and his frightened, unfaithful lover (Zachary Quinto); a closeted Mormon lawyer (Bill Heck) and his valium-addicted wife (Zoe Kazan);
|photo by Aubrey Reuben|
the infamous New York lawyer Roy Cohn (Frank Wood); an African-American male nurse (Billy Porter); a Mormon housewife from Utah (Robin Bartlett); and a steel-winged, prophecy-bearing angel (Robin Weigert); as well as the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, an ancient rabbi, the world’s oldest living Bolshevik and a Reagan administration functionary, among many others – all played by a company of eight actors. The lives of these disparate characters intersect, intertwine, collide and are blown apart during a time of heartbreak, reaction and transformation. Ranging from earth to heaven, from the political to the intimate to the visionary and supernatural, Angels in America is an epic exploration of love, justice, identity and theology, of the difficulty, terror and necessity of change."
Millennium Approaches and Perestroika will begin alternating in repertory from the start of performances. Subscriptions for the Kushner season are sold out. Single tickets for Angels will go on sale Aug. 3 at 10 AM.
Both parts of Angels in America won Tony Awards in 1993 and 1994 for Best Play, and Millennium Approaches won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Kushner adapted the plays for an HBO mini-series, directed by Mike Nichols, which premiered in 2003 and won Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for Best Miniseries.
The 2010-11 Signature season is devoted to the plays of Kushner. For more information, visit www.SignatureTheatre.org.