*Angels in America: Part Two,* 5/9/18
I saw *Angels in America: Perestroika* (aka Part Two) on 5/9/18. I've developed a habit lately of, when possible, leaving during the curtain calls. This saves me twenty to thirty minutes in leaving the building, it's always such a bottleneck trying to leave the theater. I left *Angels* just after the stage lights went up for the bows and had a bit of a hard time navigating the stairs because (a) it was dark and (b) there were tears streaming down my face. Hazardous!
The play has such a profound and humanist message. Life can be bitter and disappointing, it can crush you and grind you down to the point where you wonder if you can take it anymore. But there's so much beauty in the world, and so much love, grace, and kindness.
The second play makes greater demands on the eight actors and they all rose to the challenge, finding greater depth, deeper truth, and more powerful emotion than we saw in Part One. I don't think I've ever heard so much applause at a PLAY in my life. In the middle of a scene, the audience would applaud. Belize has my favorite line in either play: "The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it." Nathan Stewart-Jarrett stopped the show with that line - - but really, it was Tony Kushner who stopped the show. I'm sure he was very pleased when he wrote that line.
I first saw *Angels* on TV and most recently saw the London version of this production streamed into movie theaters last summer. Those were both extraordinary, but nothing can compare to seeing it live onstage, surrounded by strangers. Over and over, the audience applauded and cheered, laughed and were painfully silent. There is no magic like the magic of the theatre, and I'll never get enough of it.