Rehearsals are deep in progress for the New York revival of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. That looks like a rendering of the Angel herself (Weigert's role). People always forget that the play is very funny and the angel is as ridiculous as she is fierce. "I I I I I I I" . Both parts of the Pulitzer Prize winning epic, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, will play in repertory. Tickets go on sale on August 3rd for a very limited run. One assumes Quinto's schedule has to free up when the cameras roll on that Star Trek sequel in January 2011.
I interviewed the actress Robin Bartlett (who plays Mother Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg and four other roles) during their first week of rehearsals. We talked a bit about her vivid movie cameos like the ones in Postcards From the Edge and Shutter Island but we mostly discussed the play and how resonant and timeless it is despite its specificity in dealing with the AIDS crisis in 1985/1986 New York City. "We started off with a table read of both plays with Tony there. Spent two days just sort of bouncing things off of him and soaking whatever he had to tell us about both the play and the circumstances under which it was written," The actress says. "It's interesting because there are so many people under 30 in the play who were not — well they were alive but they weren't engaged at the time that the play was written — who were just really innocent of some of the horrors of it."
Among the younger actors, pictured from left to right are: Handsome rising stage star Bill Heck who'll play Joe Pitt, the closeted Mormon Republican; Zachary Quinto is Louis, Prior's guilt ridden Jewish ex-boyfriend; Billy Porter is Belize, the sharp tongued nurse to Roy Cohn and Prior's best friend; busy actress Zoe Kazan (yes, she's the granddaughter of Elia Kazan) will pop valium as Harper Pitt, Joe's abandoned wife; and Christian Borle, who is a familiar face in Broadway musicals, plays the central role of Prior, the dying "prophet" who sees the Angel but refuses her commands.
I'm guessing you've seen the terrific HBO film version. Give the DVD a spin again (it's still great), but see this thing on stage, as soon as you get the chance, wherever that may be. Even on tiny regional stages, it's epic.