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Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Paperback – May 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
`Angels in America, Pt. 1: Millennium Approaches' is, linguistically speaking, a much more accessible play. But it still suffers (as perhaps all plays must) from the lack of description beyond the words. In this regard, plays are very much more like poetry - they tend to latch on to single elements rather than taking the fuller form of narrative, and leave the rest to the imagination of the reader.
Tony Kushner's play is imaginative. Like great playwrights of old, he takes contemporary situations and figures and embellishes them, keeping faith with the overall meanings in society and the overall characters he's using, but is careful to make it known that this is a work of fiction.
We begin the play, staged (we are told) in the barest of scenery with a minimum of scene shifting and no black-outs - imagine, if you will, almost a stream of consciousness as the play progress - there is a funeral. A Jewish funeral. Not an unusual scene in New York, but the Rabbi doesn't know the woman, and so gives generic funereal orations.Read more ›
Kushner not only brilliantly captures real personalities while dealing with fantasy, but also relates them to the complicated, sometimes heartless world in which they exist. He poignantly addresses the loneliness and loss that is living, but does so with a sharp humor that keeps the pages rapidly turning. Angels in America is an incredible dramatic masterpiece that challenges a transformation of the soul into a true reflection of who we really are.
'Millenium Approaches' won a Pulitzer for Kushner, and it's easy to see why. It's an amazingly literate discourse and masterful interweaving of three strands of gay life in America as it stood before triple therapy arrived and slowed down the impact of AIDS.
By contrast, 'Perestroika' feels different and distant - lots of soliloquies, extreme anger, archsymbolism - I felt like the high point of the six-hour spread was the angel's dramatic appearance at the end of 'Millenium.'
Remembering back to the play, I think all the actors in Nichols adaptation really found new levels for each of their characters. For example, Pacino nailed Roy Cohn's perverse sense of logic: homosexuals (and you can hear the quotes around it when Pacino utters the word) have no power; I have power; I am not a homosexual; therefore, I do not have AIDS, I have liver cancer. I've read Cohn's biography and this is truly the way he saw things. Kushner has him nailed & Pacino really captures the essence of Kushner's words.
The other thing worth noting is that Mary-Louise Parker does wonders with the role of Harper Pitt. I remember thinking of the character as overwhelmed on stage (compared to the other actors), but, wow, does she stand out in Nichols' adaptation. It's the best performance in the film, in my eyes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Angels in America is about gay life and HIV positive people I give this Book a five star ReviewPublished 4 months ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
Has some good satiric jokes, but not my style. Bit too emotional!Published 22 months ago by Mika Houserova
I cannot wait to read the second half. Any play that focuses on dialogue is a good play and this one is exceptional.Published on January 19, 2014 by Kindle Customer
This story is so touching, and so timeless. It really stretches across time, and touches the heart of so many who lost loved ones to AIDS. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Josephine Siu