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Tony Kushner's American Epic ANGELS IN AMERICA Takes Flight on the Hilberry stage

Tony Kushner's American Epic ANGELS IN AMERICA Takes Flight on the Hilberry stage

The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, a program within the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University, is thrilled to present the epic "Angels in America" in its entirety. In the ten-time Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, playwright Tony Kushner explores evolving values in America.

In Part I of this two-part epic, Prior Walter, a young man living in NYC in 1985, is diagnosed with AIDS. His boyfriend, Louis, struggling to cope with the disease and his own fears, abandons him. Alone, Prior struggles until he's visited by ancestral ghosts who herald the coming of a fierce angel. At the same time, Joe Pitt, a conservative but closeted Mormon, is offered a high profile job in Washington, D.C., by his mentor, the McCarthyist lawyer Roy Cohn. Joe's wife Harper, who struggles with her own illness, refuses to move. Following the events of "Part One: Millennium Approaches", "Part Two: Perestroika" continues the complex and fantastical examination of homosexuality, race, and AIDS in 1980s America. Fighting illness and losing hope, Prior Walter is hesitant to become the prophet as demanded by the Angel. Roy Cohn is hospitalized, diagnosed with "liver cancer," and under the care of Belize. Harper has disappeared and Joe's mother has arrived to try to put her family back together. "Perestroika" is the thrilling conclusion to this epic tale of love, loss, and destiny.

Director Blair Anderson states "My fascination with "Angels in America" has been festering or flourishing since its opening just over 25 years ago. Kushner subtitles the play "A Gay Fantasia" which can be misleading in that it is not restricted to the gay world, but rather explores a unique cosmos where humans are "angels" and Angels are human." He continues that "The play(s) are both historical and contemporary; embracing social, political, and religious contexts while focusing on individual passions and/or ambitions. Kushner has created a specific, yet ambiguous cosmology where characters are angelic and angels are lost and searching for purpose. All elements of Kushner's "Fantasia"-his fantastic cosmos-can only happen on stage, where the production obeys its own theatrical laws."

"Part One: Millennium Approaches" opens on Feb. 8 and runs until Feb. 24. "Part Two: Perestroika" opens April 26 with performances until May 12. Experience back-to-back performances of Parts One and Two on May 5 and 11. Tickets are available online at www.theatreanddanceatwayne.com, or by phone at (313) 577-2972. A convenience fee of $2 per ticket is automatically added to your ticket when purchasing online. Additional fees may be required per order.

*This production contains simulated sexual activity and full frontal nudity.

Photo Credit: Chuk Nowak Photography

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