Angels in America at Wilma Theater

Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches opened at the Wilma Theater on Wednesday night to a sold out, engaged, appreciative crowd.

It is part of a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tony Kushner that has been made into a television miniseries aired on HBO, and an opera.

Based in New York City in 1985 when AIDS had reached crisis proportions and took the lives of too many people, the play deals with the disease as it effects two of the main characters: Roy Cohn, the politically powerful right-wing lawyer who angrily denies his AIDS diagnosis by declaring he has liver disease; and an everyday gay man whose lover turns away from him on his dying bed.

Other characters are intermingled on an open, sparsely designed set that relies on creative lighting and movable pieces of furniture to transition from story to story without losing any time.

The play is written for eight actors, each of whom plays two or more roles. Kushner's doubling, as indicated in the published script, requires several of the actors to play the opposite sex.

Kudos to Director Blanka Zizka, the actors, production team and staff on a most successful, compelling, worthwhile rendition of this meaningful and timeless work.

Angels in America features a cast of acclaimed actors from New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, some of whom graduated from Temple University’s Theater program.

The cast: Kate Czajkowski, Aubrey Deeker, Maia DeSanti, James Ijames, Stephen Novelli, Benjamin Pelteson, Mary Elizabeth Scallen and Luigi Sottile.

Lynne Innerst, Temple University Associate Professor of Acting, Voice & Speech worked behind the scenes with the actors to polish their individual accents and dialect.

Production Team: Set designer by Matt Saunders, Costumes by Oana Botez-Ban, Lighting designer Russell Champa, Sound designed by Christopher Colucci.

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika will be presented in the fall as part of Wilma’s 1012-13 season