The Messenger Is Coming . . . to DVD: "Angels in America" Hits Stores Sept. 14

News   The Messenger Is Coming . . . to DVD: "Angels in America" Hits Stores Sept. 14
The Golden Globe-winning and Emmy Award-nominated TV adaptation of Tony Kushner's Angels in America will arrive on DVD Sept. 14.

The two-CD set of "Angels in America" will feature "Millennium Approaches" on one disc and "Perestroika" on the other. Released by HBO Video, the DVDs will include the entire six-hour movie event; no additional features will be part of the package, which has a suggested retail price of $39.98.

The Mike Nichols-directed epic, which debuted on HBO in December 2003, was filmed from the playwright's screen adaptation and starred Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. The drama interweaves the stories of a gay couple split apart by AIDS; a Mormon couple separated by their secret fantasies; and a legendary lawyer fading into history. It is set against the backdrop of New York City in 1985 — a time made apparent by a scene which reveals the pre-9/11 Manhattan skyline. The "gay fantasia" includes mystical sequences — executed more simply on film than on stage — filled with ghosts of ancestors and accused spy Ethel Rosenberg, a trip through a refrigerator to Antarctica and, of course, a visit from an angel.

A male quartet of stage performers — Patrick Wilson (Oklahoma!), Ben Shenkman (Proof), Justin Kirk (Love! Valour! Compassion!) and original Broadway cast member Jeffrey Wright (Topdog/ Underdog) — are joined in the cast by Mary-Louise Parker (Proof).

James Cromwell, Michael Gambon and Simon Callow are also featured in the film. Streep, Thompson, Wright and Kirk perform multiple roles.

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 also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The screen version of Millennium Approaches is divided into three chapters "Bad News," "In Vitro" and "The Messenger" and Perestroika is also segmented into "Stop Moving," "Beyond Nelly" and "Heaven, I'm in Heaven."

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