Angels in America: Millenium Approaches at The Wilma Theater

poster for Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1993) by Tony Kushner Twenty years ago, Tony Kushner’s play in two parts, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasy on National Themes won two Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Twenty years. Wow.

And so it was with much anticipation that I went to last night’s performance of part one, Millenium Approaches at The Wilma Theater on Broad Street. I will see part two, Perestroika tonight. My next post will be a review of part two.

As I sat waiting for the show to begin I noticed that much of the audience surrounding me were young people, probably not yet born when this ground-breaking play premiered. As much as I looked forward to seeing The Wilma Theatre’s new production of both parts of this play, I wondered how it would hold up. Now I worried that all of  its references would be completely lost on a generation too young to remember Ronald Reagan or the height of the AIDS epidemic, or what it was like to be in the closet. [Ed. note: Happy National Coming Out Day!] I wanted to like this production, and I was afraid the rest of the audience wouldn’t get it. (The Wilma’s dramaturge provides helpful notes and a timeline in the program and online here and here.) Continue reading