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  Angels in America at Court Theatre

Angels in America

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Avenue Chicago

"The Great Work Begins." The year is 1985: Ronald Reagan has just been reelected to a second term, and the deadly AIDS epidemic is at its height in New York City. Tony Kushner’s two-part epic historical drama captures the lives of the HIV-positive Prior; Louis, his lover who abandons him; Joe, a closeted gay Mormon; his Valium-addicted wife Harper; Roy Cohn, a notorious lawyer from the McCarthy hearings, dying of AIDS; Belize, his African-American nurse; Hannah, Joe’s mother from Utah; and the Angel, a terrifyingly beautiful herald of the apocalypse. As these characters discover, confront, and seduce each other during a time of death, hypocrisy, and tumultuous change, Kushner summons a restless pastiche of the historical and the supernatural, the theological and the political—all told with surging theatricality by a company of eight actors. Having directed Kushner’s Caroline, or Change and The Illusion, Court’s Artistic Director Charles Newell will direct Millennium Approaches and a newly-revised Perestroika in repertory performance, giving Court audiences the unique opportunity to experience Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning magnum opus in its magnificent entirety.

Thru - Jun 3, 2012

Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Price: $35-$65

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-753-4472

Court Theatre Seating Chart

  Angels in America Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...There is nothing missing from Yando's Cohn. In a performance that surely is the zenith of this actor's distinguished Chicago career, he takes the audience on a riveting and vicarious journey as a man who despises weakness and impotence but succumbs to an invader in his body that turns him into his own negation. How does Yando do this? First, he leans his whole self into Roy's full-throated sense of humor, making him a most lovable devil. But most of all, Yando has some uncommon insights into what happens to men staring death in the face. Maybe it's all those years he played Scrooge. In some ways, the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg (Resnik) is not so different from an undigested, Dickensian bit of beef."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"... Two decades after it came crashing into our theatrical consciousness, Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” — his monumental two-part, seven-hour, compulsively cerebral and wildly hallucinatory meditation on the 20th century’s final dance of death — has arrived on the stage of Court Theatre in an electrifying production directed by Charles Newell."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Shakespeare's plays went into eclipse for a time before their power was rediscovered, and time may need to pass before Angels is freed from its historical moment, too. The evidence of this ambitious but unsatisfying production notwithstanding, it's a brilliant piece of work—if only because, like the Greek tragedies, it carries human suffering so defiantly into the realm of the divine."
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Tony Adler

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...Angels In America asks, “Are we doomed? Will the past release us? Can we change?” These questions have challenged every millennium and they are more vital and tenuous now than ever. In being “unafraid to look deep into the miasma of the world,” Angels In America withstands the test of time and Court Theatre’s incomparable production withstands its test of endurance. This grotesque and glorious masterpiece remains a prescient polemic and a beloved requiem full of grace."
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Venus Zarris

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Still, Court’s production mostly does justice to Kushner’s intelligent vision. The central image of John Culbert’s set is a slab that often serves as a bed, whether conjugal or hospital, but also brings to mind a mausoleum—a range of disparate duties that seems right. This revival marks Kushner’s accomplishment as a monument, but by no means a museum piece."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” a seven-hour epic theater piece as structurally complex as it is culturally resonant and emotionally fraught, requires just two things to succeed on the stage: a perfectly tuned cast of eight actors playing multiple roles and a visionary director to tune them. Behold: I give you Court Theatre’s inspiring achievement directed by Charles Newell."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"... The Angel in America storyline may meander and Kushner’s more spiritual ideas are a long way from clear, but the shows still form some kind of masterpiece, for their ambition, their invention, and their vibrant writing. It is must-see viewing."
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Dan Zeff

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"... Part time capsule and part eternal fable, Angels is so grand in scope it’s hard to take in all at once. Kushner has painted both a sympatheticand polemical portraitofan America at odds with itself at a critical juncture in its history. Full of insight of heartbreaking poeticism, Angels is a wondrous journey that may leave you permanently alteredas itslessons on love, humanity and forgiveness continue to immigrate into that vast continent of the self. Taken at separate times or together, this is a complex work thatis quite simply a mustsee."
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Clint May

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Charles Newell has created an ensemble that can easily rival any major theater company in Chicago, if not the nation as a whole. Every actor made distinct choices, giving the production a strong sense of realism and continually sending chills down my spine with their enchanting delivery. “Angels in America” can easily be described as flawless with the help of two legendary words: Larry Yando. The distinguished Chicago actor gave an astonishing performance. I feel labeling his performance as “astonishing” still doesn’t give full credit to his proud accomplishment. In many ways Yando played the human form of the villain, and yet we as an audience involuntarily fell in love with his character, deeply yearning for his character to progress but quivering every time he stepped on stage."

Tyler Tidmore

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Two exceptional standouts among the engaging ensemble are Larry Yando (Roy) and Rob Lindley (Prior). Yando is wickedly cruel as the closeted, conservative lawyer. Yando, a Chicago musical theatre staple, is almost unrecognizable in this role. I’m use to seeing his lighter-happier-song-and-dance self. In this show, he’s an outstandingly horrific SOB. Lindley, on the other hand, is endearing at the center of the disease mayhem. Lindley amazingly showcases a range of roles: bitchy queen, spurned lover, hallucinating patient, startled ‘chosen one.‘ An animated Lindley conceals his vulnerability behind a humorous facade of toughness. ‘Greetings, Prophet! The great work begins! The Messenger has arrived!’"
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Katy Walsh

Huffington Post - Recommended

"... While the timeliness of the play may have faded over time, it's no less relevant nor powerful. It remains a boldly composed masterwork filled with universal themes that's required viewing. True, the second half does tend to get a little preachy and Newell's sober staging overlooks the magic and humor of the piece at times, but the payoff is well worth it."
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Bob Bullen

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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