Angels In America

By Tony Kushner

11 MAR - 16 APR 1994 — Drama



Auckland Theatre Company


Watershed Theatre






Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches - is a fusion of three narrative themes set in the Reagan Administration era of the mid 1980s. A real life character - Roy Cohn was a highly controversial, powerful and corrupt New York Lawyer. Cohn played a big part in modern American history. Most notorious for his communist "witch-hunting" activities in the 1950s as Senator Joe McCarthy's assistant, and tax evasion. In 1986 Cohn was finally 'outed' when he died of HIV AIDS. In the play Cohn tries to lure Joe Pitt, a good looking, young, ambitious legal clerk, into taking a post in Washington. Cohn hopes that his proposal will lead to a more intimate relationship with Joe. Joe is a Mormon from Salt Lake City, married to Harper Pitt. Their marriage is unhappy. Harper is a 'pill-popper' who takes valium for recreation to escape her fear of life and suspicions about Joe's true sexual orientation. In her drug induced state Harper often experiences visitations, such as Mr Lies who tells her what she wants to hear and takes her on imaginary journeys. In keeping with his Mormon upbringing Joe tries to suppress his homosexual tendencies. Louis Ironson, is a Jewish New Yorker who has been living with his lover Prior Walter a well-bred 'White Anglo-Saxon Protestant', for four years. At the funeral of Louis' grandmother, Prior reveals to Louis that he is HIV Positive and has AIDS. Louis falls apart and ultimately abandons Prior. Louis' innate Jewish guilt becomes monumental as he lives with his betrayal and desertion of his lover. As the play unfolds the milieu becomes less and less naturalistic, the lives of the characters entwine on both nebula and imaginary planes. They meet in their dreams, in the past, in New York and elsewhere. Journeys induced by desire and drugs.


Raewyn Blade

The Angel

Rachelle Davies

Harper Amaty Pitt

Lee Grant

Hannah Porter Pitt

Barry Hill

Rabbi Isador Chemelwitz

Jim McLarty

Prior Walter

Kenneth McGreg

Roy M Cohn

Tim Strong


Janine Burchett