Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised and Complete Edition

by Tony Kushner

Hardcover, 2014



Call number




Theatre Communications Group (2014), Edition: 2013, Revised ed., 304 pages


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes includes Part One, Millennium Approaches and Part Two, Perestroika. Glorious. A monumental, subversive, altogether remarkable masterwork. Details of specific catastrophes may have changed since this Reagan-era AIDS epic won the Pulitzer and the Tony, but the real cosmic and human obsessions, power, religion, sex, responsibility, the future of the world are as perilous, yet as falling-down funny, as ever. ́ Linda Winer, Newsday' A vast, miraculous play... provocative, witty and deeply upsetting... a searching and radical rethinking of American political drama.'- Frank Rich, New York Times' A victory for theater, for the transforming power of the imagination to turn devastation into beauty.'- John Lahr, New Yorker. An enormously impressive work of the imagination and intellect, a towering example of what theater stretched to its full potential can achieve. ́ -Philadelphia Inquirer' Angels in America is the finest drama of our time, speaking to us of an entire era of life and death as no other play within memory. It ranks as nothing less than one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century.'- John Heilpern, New York Observer. Some playwrights want to change the world. Some want to revolutionize theater. Tony Kushner is that rarity of rarities: a writer who has the promise to do both. ́ -New York Times. This new edition of Tony Kushner's masterpiece is published with the author's recent changes and a new introduction in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its original production. One of the most honored American plays in history, Angels in America was awarded two Tony Awards for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was made into an Emmy Award-winning HBO film directed by Mike Nichols. This two-part epic, subtitled' A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, 'has received hundreds of performances worldwide in more than twenty-six languages. Tony Kushner's plays include Angels in America; Hydriotaphia, or the Death of Dr. Brown; The Illusion, adapted from the play by Pierre Cornelle; Slavs!; A Bright Room Called Day; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols's film of Angels in America and for Steven Spielberg's Munich and Lincoln. His books include The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present; Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Among many honors, Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris. -- Provided by publisher.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DrFuriosa
A rich, rending look at faith, doubt, and the AIDS crisis in America.
LibraryThing member dslsca
The greatest work of literature written in English in my lifetime. Period. The only play of the last couple hundred years to which the adjective "Shakespearean" can honestly be appended. I've seen two different productions of both halves (National Theatre in Britain and on Broadway in NYC) and the
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play survives, even triumphs, in very different styles of production. Kushner finds in within himself to understand, forgive, even love all the characters, no matter how much harm they've done.
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LibraryThing member cinesnail88
I haven't yet seen the HBO special based on this, but I can easily say that this play has broken ground in so many ways in the realm of modern theatre. I finished this epic work last night, and I had the unbelievable privilege of meeting Tony Kushner tonight and seeing him speak about the influence
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of Arthur Miller on his work. As I have been working on a reader's theatre involving Miller, this was a great opportunity for me in so many ways. Plus, I got to shake his hand and he signed my book. I can easily say that Kushner is third in a line of great American playwrights that influenced each other immensely (O'Neill, Miller, and then Kushner). Seeing him speak reemphasized the feelings I had about Angels in America and the deep feelings I was able to explore about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Brilliant!
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LibraryThing member eviexeris
O·ver·whelm·ing! Only O'neil comes close to the scope and importance of this work.
LibraryThing member organizedmayhem
Read this play for a theatre course. I even memorized a monologue. This is a really coming of age story. Even though there's more education about what HIV and AIDS are out there now than ever I think there are millions of people who don't talk about it. This issue affects everyone and we have to
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believe that a cure will be found some day as treatments have already begun to show the positive outcomes for many survivors.
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LibraryThing member allison.boyer
I was skeptical, but had to read this book (play, really) for a class a few years ago. I've read it three times since then. It is a moving story about love, commitment, and despair.
LibraryThing member faith42love
An amzingly thought provoking work which touches on a number of important issues, AIDS, goverment, capitalism vs. socialism and the list goes on. . .
LibraryThing member stephxsu
I read this for class and it was just the most astounding thing ever. Bitingly incisive, uproariously funny, painful, and just brilliant playwriting. It's no wonder this is considered one of the greatest plays written in modern times. Read this and then watch the HBO miniseries.
LibraryThing member cait815
This is the first play I've ever read where I actually pictured the entire story acted out on stage. Maybe that sounds stupid because hello, it's a play. But in the admittedly low number of plays I've read before this (more than half of which were written by Shakespeare), I always visualized the
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story like I was watching a movie. Kind of how it is when I read novels I guess. I don't know if the difference here was due in part to the very adamant and specific staging notes preceding the play, but while reading this I actually felt as if I was looking up at the stage as part of the audience. I can't tell you how much that actually needs to happen now. Damn, this was good.
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LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
Oooohhhhh Christ what a play. Expect me back in a few hours after I devour Part II.
LibraryThing member Ceilidhann
I have no words to describe how much I adore this play. I may do a full review once I'm done with my research on the play for my course but all I can say to describe the play is wow.
LibraryThing member Devil_llama
A surreal work that examines the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Bringing together such real people as Roy Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg (as a ghost, of course) with fictional characters created for the play, it creates a blending of fact and fantasy. Too long to be presented in one staging, the playwright
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broke the play into two parts, and both are presented in this text. It is easy to read and follow, in spite of surreal trappings, non-linear plots, and overlapping story lines. The story is simple and stark: men dying of AIDS in a world that would rather forget about them, and the political football of their disease, which arose just as America was sinking deep into an orgy of self-righteous ultra morality. The angels of the title are fighting against modernity, science, and progress; fortunately, the author doesn't take the usual direction for so many of these works and pretend that we would all be better and happier in an earlier, "simpler" day. He pushes back against the movement toward regression and reactionary movements from both the right and the left, and closes with a celebration of life moving on. A must read; in fact, if you have a chance to see it performed, it is also a must see.
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LibraryThing member suesbooks
Since I viewed this play again a few months ago, I was able to understand the script quite well. Even though this play was originally written in the 90's, it is unfortunately very relevant today.
LibraryThing member DanielSTJ
An extremely engaging and personal read. I was very impressed with what Kushner had to offer as a playwright and that he went the extra mile in this work. Not perfect, in my opinion, but an incredibly well done job.
LibraryThing member caseybp
One of the greatest plays in the American cannon.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

304 p.; 5.6 inches


1559363959 / 9781559363952
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