The reviews are in: Angels in America is a hit.
Returning to Broadway for the first time since it originally debuted in 1993, Tony Kushner’s seminal, mind-blowing, ambitious and spectacular saga about gay life in the mid-1980s is earning rave reviews once again.
After the latest iteration of the classic eight-hour-long play, starring Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, opened at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theater on Saturday, Ben Brantley of The New York Times claimed it could leave “every one of your senses singing.” Peter Marks of The Washington Post called the show a “fierce, funny drama that is nutrition for both intellect and soul.”
It’s surely a testament to Kushner’s phenomenal writing that Angels in America, which covers such sober topics as Reaganism, McCarthysim, immigration, religion, and climate change — all within the context of the mid-1980s AIDS crisis — still manages to be funny. But such is the effect of a play that, upon its 1993 premiere, won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, seven Tony Awards, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It was later adapted into a 2003 HBO screen adaptation, which featured Meryl Streep as a bearded old Jewish man (seriously, what can’t she do?) and won an Emmy for Best Miniseries.
Now, as the current administration continues its assault on not just the LGBT community, but on immigrants and the climate as well, Angels in America has taken on new resonance — and people are taking notice.
Tim Teeman of The Daily Beast called the play “seven and a half hours of luxurious dramatic immersion, and in no way arid or plodding,” while Adam Feldman of Time Out New York called it “a play that breaks and fills your heart; it inspires you as it takes your breath away.”
So here’s to Tony Kushner. And here’s to Mike Pence, whom we hope accidentally wanders into a showing of this play and then gets immediately told off by Nathan Lane.