July 18, 2018 / 5:00 AM

Stay Connected

‘Angels In America’ Review Roundup: Is It Lovelier The Second Time Around?

 

Close

The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield transforms from superhero into a 20th-century prophet, Prior Walter, in the Broadway production of Angels in America.

The play finished its successful run at the National Theater in London where it was named the fastest-selling production in the venue's history. It also stars Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, Denise Gough, Lee Pace, James McArdle, Susan Brown, Amanda Lawrence, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Marianne Elliott directed the production.

The story, which follows two couples, is told in two parts: Millenium Approaches and Perestroika.

The play is a revival of a 1993 production from the script penned by Tony Kushner. It won several awards including a Pulitzer Prize and seven Tony Awards. Angels in America will be staying at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway for a limited time.

What The Critics Are Saying

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney says that the Broadway production remains relevant especially to the current political and social weather in the United States.

"What remains amazing is how much of this sprawling yet cohesive tapestry Kushner got so right. His forecast for Russia was informed by the climate of the time, but he predicted the chaos that would pave the way for Putin and a return to Soviet-style order, not to mention tacitly suggesting the degree to which Moscow would continue to influence American political life," the critic wrote. "And his reflection on the painful progress of the gay struggle — the plays are subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes &mdash seems now uncannily far-sighted in its intimations of a post-equality horizon."

Meanwhile, Zachary Stewart of Theater Mania praises Director Elliott (War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) who took on the challenge of the play's overlapping scenes like a true master storyteller.

"Her inventive physical staging proves an ideal match for Kushner's sprawling, cinematic, and magic-laden text. Elliott doesn't treat Kushner's penchant for overlapping scenes as an obstacle, but an opportunity for counterpoint," he commented. "In the few scene locations that repeat, Elliot opts to rearrange our perspective on the space, like a film director setting up a new shot. We're never unclear about location, but the world comes into fuller focus as performance and design seamlessly integrate."

Variety writer Marilyn Stasio thinks that Garfield gives the best performance of his career as Prior Walter, a young man who was diagnosed with AIDS.

"Garfield begins his riveting descent — ascent, really — into death and immortality when Prior discovers his first lesion," the author said.

On the other hand, Lane, who commanded most of the eight-hour production, didn't disappoint either. Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, who was lucky to catch the first production of Angels in America back in 1993, commends the theater actor's "extraordinary" performance as the closeted Roy M. Cohn.

Tickets to the first and second part of Angels in America on Broadway are now available via Ticketmaster.

See Now: Ariana Grande 'No Tears Left To Cry': Full Lyrics And Music Video

© 2018 Music Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Real Time Analytics