Described on Sunday October 1, 2017 at 2 pmat the Arts Club Stanley, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver | 604-687-1644 | View map
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Running time is 3 hours 35 minutes, including 2 intermissions.
Described by Steph Kirkland
Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Kim Collier
Witness the soaring conclusion to the acclaimed play that asks us what we do for those we love. Perestroika is a revolution against the politics and prejudice in the 1980s as the AIDS epidemic rages on, and the characters wrestle with their ideologies and an angel looking for an answer. In the centre of it all is Prior Walter, a man in a world of peril who chooses to live in his light.
The action takes place in New York City, December 1985.
Angels in America follows seven characters as they navigate the HIV/AIDS crisis and America’s shifting values at the turn of the twentieth century. This is where they are as Part Two begins:
Prior, a gay man living in New York, is diagnosed with AIDS. When his partner, Louis, leaves him, he struggles to cope, and begins hearing a mysterious voice. Determined to survive, Prior experiences increasingly surreal visions, culminating in the arrival of an angel, who crashes through his ceiling.
Belize, an African American nurse, supports Prior, his close friend, as his illness progresses. Belize meets with Louis, but this triggers a heated argument about racism in America and Louis’s choice to abandon Prior.
Louis, tormented by guilt yet unable to face Prior’s deteriorating health, seeks an escape through casual sex. Louis meets Joe at the courthouse, where they both work, sparking an attraction between them, but Joe denies that he is gay.
Joe is the Mormon protégé of controversial lawyer Roy Cohn. When Roy offers Joe a lucrative federal government position in Washington, D.C., this strains Joe’s marriage, which is already tense because of Joe’s doubts about his sexuality. Encouraged by Roy to leave his wife, Joe admits his attraction to Louis and they kiss.
Hannah, Joe’s mother, also a Mormon, receives a drunken phone call from Joe late at night. After he confesses to her that he is gay, she is anxious to see him. She sells her house in Salt Lake City and flies to New York.
Harper, Joe’s wife, is a Mormon who takes Valium for her agoraphobia (fear of public spaces). During a hallucination, she has a surreal meeting with Prior. Prior tells Harper that Joe is gay, but she refuses to believe him. Yet, when Harper eventually confronts Joe, he confirms her suspicions. Overwhelmed by Joe’s confession, she transports herself—through fantasy or hallucination—to Antarctica.
Roy, who is both a Republican lawyer and a closeted gay man, is diagnosed with AIDS. He is also at risk to lose his law license due to unethical conduct. As Roy’s health declines, the ghost of alleged communist spy Ethel Rosenberg appears, seeking retribution for the part that Roy played in her conviction and execution.
(Character synopsis courtesy of the Arts Club)
Video highlights from Part 1: