Angels in America returns to Broadway, timely and triumphant: EW review Review REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Neil Simon Theatre / 250 West 52nd Street, New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

It is customary for audiences to applaud a beloved star’s first appearance in a show, and the crowd at a recent preview of the revival of Angels in America did when Nathan Lane entered squawking as nefarious lawyer Roy Cohn. But it is rare to hear theater-goers whoop for the entrance of a character, as happened when Belize, the ex-drag-queen night nurse first sauntered into scene 5 of Part One, Millennium Approaches. (The British actor stylishly portraying Belize, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, thus far little-known in this country, had been on stage earlier as the hallucinatory Mr. Lies.) A quarter-century after Angels’ Broadway debut, the New York homecoming of Tony Kushner’s eight indelible characters feels like a class reunion, or something akin to a comet’s return — but decidedly more fabulous.

Has it really been 25 years since Tony Kushner’s great opus was last on Broadway? It has. Then a seven-plus-hour, double-Tony-winning hot ticket, Angels is today in the canon.  There are Spark Notes for it. One such study guide, anticipating its young readership, begins by explaining what AIDS is — or was: “Scientists discovered in 1984 that heterosexual sex could also transmit HIV,” it reads, “but AIDS remained a ‘gay plague’ in the popular imagination.”

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