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Angels in America


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It's good! Are you shocked? (Probably not.) I'm much more familiar with Millennium Approaches than I am with Perestroika, which might be the reason I prefer it. But I thought Andrew Garfield was better the second night - he really gives a hell of a performance. And the biggest laugh of either night came when Ed Koch's name was mentioned. Got me thinking about how I might arrange to live forever as a punchline.

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We saw both parts in the early 90s.

 

Unlike now, when our pad in Manhattan is our country home, we were

exclusively in Cambridge (MA) then. All we had for entertainment was

Stephen Breyer and Bill Weld meandering past us to Formaggio

Kitchen. Then my wife was diagnosed, falsely, with something deadly.

We flew to NYC, and -- to cheer her up -- I secured good seats to

A in A.

 

If there's anyone here who saw that version, and sees this one as well,

a comparison would be interesting.

 

If not, damn it, we'll be forced to do it ourselves.

 

(The pre-trump-connection-fully-revealed Roy Cohn, from that version,

versus what we know now of the even greater damage he wrought,

would make this version fascinating watching.)

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(The pre-trump-connection-fully-revealed Roy Cohn, from that version,

versus what we know now of the even greater damage he wrought,

would make this version fascinating watching.)

 

My inclination, going in, was to try to find clues in the text that would mark Kushner (Tony, not Jared, just in case that wasn't clear) as prescient about whatever-the-hell-is-going-on-in-the-country-right-now-omg-shut-up-I-can't-even. And I fought hard against this, because I really wanted to view the play as a play, and not a prediction or an artifact. I was mostly successful, except for the several times when Roy Cohn speaks - shouts, actually - of loyalty, and then I was whipsawed into present day. It detracted. Best to view Angels through an 80s-90s lens.

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Did the two show marathon last Saturday and it was spectacular. And I think the cast will get even tighter as previews continue. Have seen several productions in the past but this version of Perestroika finally clicked.

 

The reveal of the angel at the end of part 1 was extraordinary. Was not expecting that.

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Wow. Just . . . wow.

 

Millennium Approaches was such super high energy. Perestroika not as high energy and seemed not as innovative, but still plenty powerful.

 

The actor playing Hannah Pitt unfortunately kept slipping back into sounding Irish, but otherwise all the cast did a fine job sounding American even they were not. Our Angel (the Wednesday alternate) was an American. All in all, fine ensemble playing.

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Shouldn't they have left out all that depressing AIDS stuff? (Not to mention Roy Cohn . . . .) I mean, people want escape these days.

 

You fucking cunt-licking powerless idiot. You must have your head way up somebody's ass if you so misunderstood me.*

 

 

*If anyone thinks this is an attack, they need to see this play.

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We spent most of dinner tonight dissecting the plays. Mostly the characters, a little bit the staging. My drama-department analytical training kicked in. Belize and Prior emerged pretty much unscathed. Others, not so much (and not only Cohn), including the playwright.

 

But I still think this is one of the high-water marks of American theater of the twentieth century.

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