Timing is everything. When Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes appeared on the theatrical scene, New York City and the entire country were still apprehensive about the outbreak of AIDS. Now, almost a decade later, Kushner returns to NYC with his new work, Homebody/Kabul, at a time when the play's setting of Afghanistan has become a major focal point of the world.
The play will begin at the New York Theater Workshop later this season. However, anxious fans can catch excerpts from the show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's Peter B. Lewis Theatre at the Sackler Center for Arts Education in uptown Manhattan Oct. 28-29. The sneak peek is part of the museum's "Works & Process at the Guggenheim" program and will conclude with a discussion with the production's director Declan Donnelan and designer Nick Ormerod.
Homebody/Kabul follows a British woman fascinated by Afghanistan and her encounter with an Afghan man whose fingers were cruelly severed. In the second part, the woman's husband and daughter search to find her in the nation's capital after she has mysteriously disappeared.
The first act is a monologue which recalls the piece's early stage as a solo show. The work-in-progress had a run at London's Chelsea Theatre Centre in 1999 starring British actress Kika Markham, the actress Kushner had in mind when it was written.
For tickets to the Guggenheim preview of Homebody/Kabul at 1071 Fifth Ave. (at 89th Street), call (212) 423-3587. The performance begins at 8 PM. For more information on this and other programs at the museum, visit http://www.guggenheim.org. — by Ernio Hernandez