NYTG at the Official Opening of Angels in America on Broadway
New York Theatre Guide attends Opening Night for the Broadway transfer of Angels in America at the Neil Simon Theatre.
There are perhaps not enough superlatives in the Oxford dictionary to describe the National Theatre's take on Tony Kushner's epic (and at over 7 hours in length, I do mean epic), Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play Angels in America - a Gay Fantasia on National Themes. If you don't believe me, just take a look at our lead critic Tulis McCall's review, in which she exalts the production as "a roiling, churning entity" that is both "an event" and "a summoning".
A few sceptics might wonder why exactly audiences are being summoned to revisit the play - twenty-five years after its Broadway premiere - whose vast themes are told through the setting of the 1980s Reagan-era, AIDS epidemic in New York City. But truth be told, Kushner's exploration of civic corruption, politics, and mortality, have perhaps never been more relevant, resonant and urgent. As America's marches and demonstrations for strict gun control laws seem to unphase corrupt powers-that-be, cast member Susan Brown's "The World’s Oldest Living Bolshevik" opening monologue of Part Two - Perestroika rings as freshly heartwrenching as if it were written yesterday... “The Great Question before us is: Are we doomed? … Will the Past release us? … Can we Change? … In Time?”
In this respect, Angels in America still presents itself as a mirror to be held up to reflect our sociopolitical times and we are rightfully summoned to stand and testify.
Kushner's other principal themes of religion, guilt, sexuality, repression, morality and environmental catastrophes are all exhaustively highlighted by three occasionally intertwining storylines, brought to life by director Marianna Elliott's strikingly stylized production and a cast of wonderfully gifted actors, headlined by Oscar & Tony Award nominee Andrew Garfield and two-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane.
Despite a four-show weekend, clocking up around 28 hours of performing on stage, the cast still mustered enough energy to celebrate their opening night - and the siege of excellent reviews - at last night's official after party at Espace on 42nd Street. Check out our selection of photos, as we were on hand to greet them.
Now officially a hit on both sides of Atlantic, the National Theatre of Great Britain gives America back its landmark American play in a revival that is as fine as you'll likely ever see and a host of American special guests were on hand to show their support and help the cast and crew celebrate this monumentous achievement in theatre. From Glenn Close to RuPaul, take a look at our selection of those "summoned" for yesterday's opening.
We have the distinct feeling that - come the end of Awards season - Angels in America may well be showered in glory, but for now I can only urge you to bear witness to this glorious revival as performances continue at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway.
Angels in America Tickets are available now for performances through to July 1, 2018.
(Photos by Tom Millward)