Since its debut in the early ’90s, “Angels in America” has won a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, an Evening Standard Award, two Lawrence Olivier Awards and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. The play, written by prolific contemporary playwright Tony Kushner, comes in two parts – “Part One: Millenium Approaches” and “Part Two: Perestroika.” It has been made into an award-winning miniseries for HBO and an opera by Peter Eštvšs. Now, over a decade after its debut, the UCSB Dept. of Theater and Dance is tackling this difficult dramatic production.
The play is “A Christmas Carol” of sorts, set in the mid-1980s. Chronicling the way in which lead character Prior Walter and his various friends, lovers and relatives learn to deal with his AIDS diagnosis, the production veers from ghost-laced fantasy to stark reality, from extreme comedy to dark drama and from the simplest of acting showcases to elaborate special effects. It is truly a triumphant piece of playwriting, and UCSB students are fortunate to have the opportunity to check it out in our very own Hatlen Theatre.
“Angels in America” plays at 8 p.m. from May 31 to June 2, and at 2 p.m. on June 3. Tickets are $13 for students and $17 for general admission. Ticket information is available at (805) 893-3535.