Talk:Angels in America

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Two part or two-acts[edit]

Two-part or two-act? -Branddobbe 06:21, Mar 15, 2004 (UTC)

Indeed, it is two parts. At seven hours long, I would hope so! − Twas Now 04:29, 8 January 2007 (UTC) It took nearly two years, but you did get a response. See, the system works after all!

'one of the most influential plays of all time' - very disputable, considering we have over two thousand years of previous work still extant and in performance - (what about anything that has lasted from the Greek tragedians, or Goethe's Faust, or Shakespeare's Hamlet!) I suggest 'one of the most influential recent American plays' - on all else the jury is out and will necesarily remain out for another 50 years or so! Linuxlad 12:00, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

When the TV version appeared on DVD critics in the UK reached for their sick bags left right and centre, not over the play's content, but over its all-American apple-pie sentimentality.
That's the problem for the UK reviewers to work on. When talking about "America", often a person has to break it down into smaller, stereotypical, palatable chunks. To attempt to describe the whole is impossible. One would think the UK reviewers would understand that? Then again, nothing really surprises me anymore. 15:01, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Interesting comment about the "all-American apple-pie sentimentality" back in 2006. Yes, but that's what's great about the play, it's American-ness. Maybe that's why the play has already entered the American canon, and the high school curriculum, next to Death of a Salesman. I remember going to the play expecting some kind of topical piece about AIDS, and discovering that Kushner's Roy Cohn was a great American character, like Lewis's Babbitt or Updike's Rabbit. As the subtitle claims, it really is about American "National Themes." Sinclair Lewis never created a gay character, but if he had, he would have loved Roy Cohn, a kind of gay Elmer Gantry.Profhum (talk) 06:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

What year?[edit]

In the article it says that it was first produced in 1991. However, it also says (under Angels in America#Millennium Approaches) that it received "1990 Fund for New American Plays/Kennedy Centre Award". So how did it receive this award before it even premiered? What gives? Cleduc 03:11, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

It was first performed in May 1990. I'm studying this play at university right now, and I have two academic textbooks on it, plus one which is 'a conversation with the author,' and they all give the same info for the May 1990 workshop, which is what I've added. Queer Scout 22:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

With the way things work in theatre, sometimes they go through several rehearsals and trial runs before an official "premiere". It's possible that it was performed in 1990, before the premiere in 1991. I do have reliable print sources though that say 1991 is the correct year.Bradkoch2007 06:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean, 1990?[edit]

The play won the Pulitzer prize in 1993. '93! How is it possible for the play to have won the Pulitzer in 1993, this theater award in 1990, and have premiered in 1991? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:48, 29 December 2006 (UTC). As noted above, the play did premiere in 1991. The 1990 award appears to be a grant of some sort, and this play did indeed receive it Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.Bradkoch2007 06:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


I remeber reading on some message boards that some christens where upset that a gay themed mini-series used the term angel. Was there any public outcry, and if so why is'nt it listed here? --Hagamaba 20:38, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

There was indeed much controversy around this pair of plays when they came out and to the present during reproductions. This should definitely be in there, so whenever someone feels like writing it that would be good to add.Bradkoch2007 06:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Some of the controversy for some groups were their inclusion and in what manner. Mormons in particular had issues with this. Articles like demonstrate some of the response. The Mormons were more polite than most of the other conservative leaning folks, but it is clear reading articles in the LA Times, NY Times and others that they felt singled out and misrepresented. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 5 November 2015 (UTC)


Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, isn't this the title of his book and not the plays? Benjiboi 21:35, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


Many of the characters are missing or in the wrong part!

These are the characters of "millenium approaches": Roy Cohn, Joe, Harper, Louis, Prior, Hannah, Belize, the Angel, Isidor Chemelwitz, Mr. Lies, The Leatherman, Henry, Emily, Martin Heller, Ella Chapter, Prior 1 and 2, the eskimo, woman in the South Bronx, Ethel rosenberg

and these appear in "Perestroika": Roy Cohn, Joe, Harper, Louis, Prior, Hannah, Belize, the Angel, Mr. Lies, Henry, Emily, Isidor Chemelwitz,Sarah Ironson, the Angels Europa, Africanii, Oceania, Asiatica, Australia and Antarctica; Aleksii, the Mormon mother, the Mormon father, Caleb, Orrin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Current revival[edit]

there's a prominent one happening off-broadway in new york right now, and has been getting rave reviews (which i do not have sources for), but it should be mentioned. link: Rochelle CMN (talk) 07:58, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Use of the term, "closeted"[edit]

I've only had experience of the HBO adaptation, please bear this in mind. So, is it valid or appropriate to use the term, "deeply closeted" to refer to both Joe Harper and Roy Cohn? They both have very different stories: Roy Cohn is comfortable with his homosexual activity and only keeps it secret to the extent required not to affect his career; Joe Harper desperately wishes he had no homosexual feelings at all, and attempts to live as though he were entirely heterosexual. I think it would be an improvement if a more precise indication of their situation were offered.

Edrarsoric (talk) 23:22, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Clarify the plot and staging[edit]

The plot as it is currently written does not make clear where the two halves of the play break. Many theatres only stage Millenium Approaches, so it would be helpful to make clear where it ends and Perestroika begins, which the current plot summary buries somewhere in the very long second paragraph. In fact, it might be useful to clarify that the halves are sometimes treated as two plays and staged separately or on subsequent nights, not all in one go. Mragsdale (talk) 22:00, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

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