Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes Folds Its Wings Off-Broadway April 24

News   Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes Folds Its Wings Off-Broadway April 24
The Off-Broadway revival of Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, the historic play documenting the American AIDS crisis in the mid 1980's, concludes its extended engagement April 24 at the Signature Theatre's Peter Norton Space.

BIll Heck and Keira Keeley
BIll Heck and Keira Keeley Photo by Joan Marcus

The Signature Theatre Company production, under the direction of Michael Greif, began previews Sept. 14, 2010, and opened to critical approval Oct. 28. The strong box office for the almost-seven-hour work (Millennium Approaches and Perestroika) prompted four extensions past the original closing date of Dec. 19, 2010.

The closing cast includes Jonathan Hadary as Roy Cohn, Adam Driver as Louis Ironson, Sofia Jean Gomez as The Angel, Bill Heck as Joe Pitt, Keira Keeley as Harper Pitt, Lynne McCollough as Hannah Pitt, Billy Porter as Belize and Michael Urie as Prior Walter.

Here's how Signature characterizes the Pulitzer Prize-winning work: "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, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play's two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, bring together a young gay man with AIDS and his frightened, unfaithful lover; a closeted Mormon lawyer and his valium-addicted wife; the infamous New York lawyer Roy Cohn; an African-American male nurse; a Mormon housewife from Utah; and a steel-winged, prophecy-bearing angel; 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."

Scenic design is by Mark Wendland, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Ken Travis, projection design by Wendall K. Harrington, music by Michael Friedman and Chris Miller, hair and wig design by Charles Lapointe, dialect coaching by Deborah Hecht, fight direction by Rick Sordelet, aerial design by Paul Rubin, make-up by Cookie Jordan and additional costumes by Jeff Mahshie. Production stage manager is Monica A. Cuoco. Stage manager is Joshua Pilote.

Signature Theatre Company's 20th Anniversary season celebrates Tony Kushner. Visit or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529). Performances take place at the Peter Norton Space, located at 555 West 42nd Street.

Michael Urie and Billy Porter
Michael Urie and Billy Porter Photo by Richard Termine
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