Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
Part One, Millennium Approaches
Part Two, Perestroika
"A vast, miraculous play... provocative, witty and deeply upsetting... a searching and radical rethinking of American political drama." - Frank Rich, New York Times
"Angels in America is the finest drama of our time, speaking to us of an entire era of life and death as no other play within memory. It ranks as nothing less than one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century." - John Heilpern, New York Observer
"A victory for theater, for the transforming power of the imagination to turn devastation into beauty." - John Lahr, New Yorker
"Angels in America is the broadest, deepest, most searching American play of our time." - Jack Kroll, Newsweek
This new edition of Tony Kushner's masterpiece is published with the author's recent changes and a new introduction in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its original production. One of the most honored American plays in history, Angels in America was awarded two Tony Awards for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was made into an Emmy Award-winning HBO film directed by Mike Nichols. This two-part epic, subtitled "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," has received hundreds of performances worldwide in more than twenty-six languages.
Tony Kushner's Angels in America
is that rare entity: a work for the stage that is profoundly moving yet very funny, highly theatrical yet steeped in traditional literary values, and most of all deeply American in its attitudes and political concerns. In two full-length plays--Millennium Approaches
--Kushner tells the story of a handful of people trying to make sense of the world. Prior is a man living with AIDS whose lover Louis has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn (a fictional re-creation of the infamous American conservative ideologue who died of AIDS in 1986) and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find some sort of personal salvation in his beliefs.
But such a summary does not do justice to Kushner's grand plan, which mixes magical realism with political speeches, high comedy with painful tragedy, and stitches it all together with a daring sense of irony and a moral vision that demands respect and attention. On one level, the play is an indictment of the government led by Ronald Reagan, from the blatant disregard for the AIDS crisis to the flagrant political corruption. But beneath the acute sense of political and moral outrage lies a meditation on what it means to live and die--of AIDS, or anything else--in a society that cares less and less about human life and basic decency. The play's breadth and internal drive is matched by its beautiful writing and unbridled compassion. Winner of two Tony Awards and the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for drama, Angels in America is one of the most outstanding plays of the American theater. --Michael Bronski