Angels In America at Players by the Sea

February 17, 2014 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Tony Kushner's late 20th century masterpiece will finally be performed on a Jacksonville stage at the ever more progressive Players By The Sea theatre. It will be directed by Sam Fisher, scion of one of Jacksonville's theatre families, and will apparently include the first half of the two part play.

From the Players By The Sea website.

Honored with every possible award, including the Pulitzer, Tony for Best Play, Emmy for Best Miniseries and many more. What the playwright called “a gay fantasia on national themes” is nothing less than a powerful and deeply moving exploration of American identity.  A straight-arrow Mormon lawyer hides his true sexuality. His depressed wife escapes through drug-induced fantasies. Ruthless powerbroker Roy Cohn denies that he is gay (“Homosexuals are men who know nobody and who nobody knows. Who have zero clout. Does this sound like me?”) A man dying of AIDS is visited by the ghosts of illustrious ancestors and by his nurse, a black drag queen. Guilt, compassion, right-wing conservatism and intimations of liberation, heralded by a terrifying angel, are all part of this magnificent study of the American state of mind at the millennium.

Apropos of nothing, except that its from the HBO adaptation, here is one of the many interesting relationships from the play, that of Roy Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg, played by Al Pacino and Meryl Streep respectively.

Cohn, as some may already know, was the zealous anti communist prosecutor who hounded the Rosenbergs until their execution for espionage by the United States.  He was one of the most conservative and most feared men in the country until his death of AIDS.

Kushner's use of the two characters are some of the most searing alt historical portrayals on the modern stage.

ROY M. COHN (also Prior 2): Hays Jacobs
JOSEPH PORTER PITT (also Prior 1 and The Eskimo): Josh Waller
HARPER AMATY PITT (also Martin Heller): Patti Menefee
LOUIS IRONSON: Richard Speed
PRIOR WALTER (also The Man in the Park): Daniel Austin
HANNAH PORTER PITT (also Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz, Henry and Ethel Rosenberg): Caroline Lee
BELIZE (also Mr. Lies ): David Girard
THE ANGEL (also The Voice, Emily, The Woman in the South Bronx and Sister Ella Chapter): Kelby Siddons

DIRECTOR: Sam Fisher
SPECIAL MAKE UP & COSTUME DESIGN: Jake Gianforti & Ron Shreve
PROJECTION DESIGN: Jess Taylor & Sam Fisher

ANGELS IN AMERICA                                
By Tony Kushner
Directed by Sam Fisher

Playing on Main Stage MARCH 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 2014
Thursday-Saturday, Curtain at 8 PM.  Sunday, Curtain at 2 PM.
General Admission: $23.00  
Student/Military/Senior:  $20.00

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