Millennium Approaches runs this weekend and Part Two: Perestroika next weekend, each with a different cast and director. They appear alongside real-life characters like Roy Cohnthe vicious lawyer and onetime sidekick of the infamous s Communist-hunter and US senator Joseph McCarthy.
Plot[ edit ] Part One: As Prior's illness progresses, Louis becomes unable to cope and moves out, leaving Prior to deal with his abandonment.
He is given emotional support by his friend Belize, an ex-drag queen and a hospital nurse, who also must deal with Louis' self-castigating guilt and myriad excuses for his behavior. Joe Pitt, a Mormon, Republican clerk in the same judge's office where Louis holds a clerical job, is offered a position in Washington, D.
Joe hesitates to accept out of concern for his agoraphobicvalium -addicted wife Harper, who refuses to move. Harper suspects that Joe does not love her in the same way she loves him, which is confirmed when Joe confesses his homosexuality.
Harper retreats into drug-fueled escapist fantasies, including a dream where she crosses paths with Prior even though the two of them have never met in the real world.
Torn by pressure from Roy and a burgeoning infatuation with Louis, Joe drunkenly comes out to his conservative mother Hannah, who reacts badly.
Concerned for her son, she sells her house in Salt Lake City and travels to New York to help repair his marriage. Meanwhile, a drug-addled Harper has fled their apartment after a confrontation with Joe, wandering the streets of Brooklyn believing she is in Antarctica as Joe and Louis tentatively begin an affair.
Defiantly refusing to publicly admit he is gay, Roy instead declares he has liver cancer. Facing disbarment for borrowing money from a client, Roy is determined to beat the case so he can die a lawyer and he attempts to position Joe in the Justice Department with the aim of having a friend in a useful place.
When Joe at last refuses his offer, he flies into a rage and collapses in pain. As he awaits transport to the hospital, he is visited by the ghost of Ethel Rosenbergwhom he prosecuted in her trial for espionage, and who was executed after Roy illegally lobbied the judge for the death penalty.
Prior begins to hear an angelic voice telling him to prepare for her arrival, and receives visits from a pair of ghosts who claim to be his own ancestors, who inform him he is a prophet. Prior does not know if these visitations are caused by an emotional breakdown or if they are real.
At the end of Part One, Prior is visited by an angelwho crashes through his bedroom ceiling and proclaims that "the Great Work" has begun. Perestroika[ edit ] At the funeral of a friend, a shaken Prior relates his encounter with the Angel to Belize.
After revealing the presence of a mystical book underneath the tile in Prior's Kitchen, the Angel reveals to him that Heaven is a beautiful city that resembles San Franciscoand God, described as a great flaming Alephcreated the universe through copulation with His angels, who are all-knowing but unable to create or change on their own.
God, bored with the angels, made mankind with the power to change and create. The progress of mankind on Earth caused Heaven to suffer earthquake-like tremors and physically deteriorate.
Finally, on the day of the San Francisco earthquake inGod abandoned Heaven. The Angel brings Prior a message for mankind—"stop moving! Belize believes that Prior is projecting his own fears of abandonment into an elaborate hallucination, but Prior suspects that his illness is the prophecy taking physical form, and that the only way the Angel can force him to deliver her message is to die.
Roy lands at the hospital in the care of Belize, where his condition rapidly declines. He manages to use his political clout to acquire a private stash of the experimental drug AZTat the expense of withholding the drug from participants in a drug trial.
Alone in a hospital, Cohn finds himself increasingly isolated, with only Belize, who despises him, and the ghost of Ethel for company.Hannah (Susan Brown), Joe’s mother, comes from Salt Lake City to New York City. Elliott’s skill as a director is evident in what is really a bridging scene where Hannah is lost and asking directions from a homeless woman, and devoting as much care to it as the Angel’s entry or Harper’s imaginary Arctic trip, or the moving scene in which.
How HBO, Mike Nichols and Tony Kushner Brought Angels in America to the Screen. Paste Magazine. TV: Gay characters, themes found more acceptance and popularity in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Lector Effect. Slate Magazine review arguing that the miniseries "gets Kushner wrong".
Angels in America. Variety review. Angels in a Changed America. In , Tony Kushner began writing a play called Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.
It was supposed to be about two hours long, and he wanted it to be about gay men, the AIDS crisis, and Mormonism and he knew there was an angel in it. Tony Kushner’s ‘Angels in America’: Brilliant, Shattering, and Back on Broadway Tony Kushner’s ‘Angels in America’ returns to Broadway in a superb National Theatre production, its themes of gay sexuality, AIDS, and resistance as powerful now as in the ’90s.
In the end, Hannah has a far better fate than her son. Whereas Joe ends up completely alone, we find Hannah in the epilogue, hanging out with Prior, Louis, and Belize.
Based on Millennium Approaches, we never would have guessed that Hannah would end up like this. Angels in America focuses on the stories of two troubled couples, one gay, one straight: "word processor" Louis Ironson and his lover Prior Walter, and Mormon lawyer Joe Pitt and his wife Harper.
After the funeral of Louis's grandmother, Prior tells him that he has contracted AIDS, and Louis panics.