Friday, April 07, 2006
Angels in America - Tony Kushner [March/06]
Angels in America is one of the greatest plays ever performed on stage. It was something I was always aware of but never really paid the appropriate amount of attention to. When I read the play, though, I was quite entralled with it and hope to eventually get around to renting the mini-series that was later put out. The play covers so many issues that someone could go on for months about all the little details. It is a play about acceptance, gays, AIDs, politics, religion, forgiveness, family, love, friendship, relationships, mental illness, understanding, and the list goes on and on. It is a very profound play.
In the play, we follow main characters. One of the characters has AIDs, another is a famous lawyer dying of AIDs but claiming he had cancer, another is a gay man in a relationship with a woman, there is a gay man that has lost himself and cannot handle difficult situations, a woman that is not totally aware of the world around her, a mother coming to terms with the changing times, and many more characters. The first character I mentioned with AID's is one of the more central characters to the play. Many of the other characters in the play interact with him and then they interact with other people and draw them into the same sphere. He is living a bleak existence, his lover could not handle the AIDs and leaves him and he finds himself very much alone in the world. He has interactions with angels, though, that are some of the more phenomenal scenes in the play.
The man that has AIDs and is pretending he is dying of cancer is quite the character. He is based off a real person who was a famous lawyer but was not always shrewd about catching the guilty party. One such case comes back to haunt him through the play. He dies very painfully and at a time when his lawyers license was being reviewed and eventually taken away from him. He does at the bottom instead of at the top where he thought he spent so much of his life.
The man that is gay in a straight relationship does not really care to admit that he is gay. His wife has mental illnesses and is often high of valium, a common drug at the time in this play. She is trying to get her life together but it always seems like for every step she takes forward she takes two more back. She is having a hard time accepting her husbands new lifestyle.
All of these characters, and more, interact in an environment of not being accepted. They all have problems that were scorned during the 80's, when this play takes place, and are all trying to get by in a world that is so set against them. You don't have to read this play, but I suggest you watch the mini-series. It really does touch you in a way that you gain a new understanding.